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Full text of "Israel and the gentiles : contributions to the history of the Jews from the earliest times to the present day"

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ISRAEL  AND   THE   GENTILES. 


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ISEAEL  AND  THE  GENTILES. 

CONTRIBUTIONS 

TO  TRB 

HISTORY   OF    THE    JEWS 

FROM  THE   EARLIBST  TIMES  TO  THE  PRESENT   DAY. 


BY 

DR.    ISAAC    DA   COSTA, 

OP  AMSTERDAM. 


'  A  travera  tant  d'^U,  d'Ages  de  lieoz  divert, 
Avec  leur  vieille  loi  parcourant  Tunlvers, 
Seals  ils  tont  demeures  sur  ta  bate  profbnde, 
Comma  cea  rleax  rochers  contemporaint  du  monde." 

Deli  LLC. 


LONDON: 

JAMES  NISBET  AND  CO.,  21,  BERNERS  STREET. 

HDCCCL. 


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MACXITTOaH,  PRINTER. 
QREAT  NEW-«TREET,   X.OKOOK. 


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TRANSLATOR'S  PREFACE. 


It  is,  I  believe,  customary  for- a  translator  to 
say  a  few  words  in  introducing  an  author 
whose  work  is  in  this  manner  ushered  before 
the  public  in  a  new  garb ;  and  I  cannot  thus 
mention  Dr.  Da  Costa,  without  expressing  my 
wish  that  the  reader  of  his  book  may,  even  in 
a  small  degree,  participate  in  the  vivid  enjoy- 
ments which  I  myself  have  derived  from  the 
gifted  writer's  own  conversation  and  corre- 
spondence. 

In  the  author  of  "  Israel  and  the  Gentiles," 
it  is  not  only  the  poet  and  the  man  of  letters 
with  whom  we  become  acquainted,  neither 
is  it  human  wisdom  alone  that  flows  with 
eloquence  from  his  lips.  We  recognise  in 
him  the  devoted  Christian,  the  true  servant  of 
his  "elder  brother  according  to  the  flesh," 
whom  he  worships  as  Messiah,  his  King,  and 
his  God.  We  behold  in  him  one  who  has 
left  riches  and  honour,  and  counted  them  as 


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VI  TEANSLATOE  S   PEEFACE. 

nought  SO  jbhat  he  might  win  Christ,  and 
whose  life  is  spent  in  diffusing  around  him 
the  light  of  the  knowledge  of  God. 

These  sketches,  as  Dr.  Da  Costa  himself 
has  remarked,  are  incomplete,  especially  the 
latter  part,  where  he  could  hardly  have  can- 
vassed the  characters  of  distinguished  men 
who  are  still  aUve.  With  respect  to  the  want 
of  strict  chronological  arrangement  which 
may  he  ohservahle  in  some  parts  of  the  work, 
he  wishes  to  state  his  conviction,  that  history 
ought  to  follow  the  connexion  of  circumstances 
rather  than  the  precise  sequence  of  time ;  and 
he  has  chosen,  therefore,  to  place  facts  and 
opinions  in  certain  groups,  in  preference  to  a 
close  adherence  to  the  ordinary  more  exact 
method.  It  is,  perhaps,  necessary  to  mention 
that  one  or  two  passages  of  Scripture  have 
been  translated  afresh  from  the  original 
Hebrew,  instead  of  being  copied  from  the 
authorized  version. 

MART  J.  KENNEDY. 


44,  Norfolk  Square^  Brighton, 
December  10, 1849. 


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PREFACE. 


It  may,  perhaps,  not  be  quite  without  interest 
to  my  English  readers  to  know  that  I  am,  by 
birth,  a  descendant  of  one  of  those  Jewish 
families  who,  in  the  seventeenth  century, 
sought  refuge  in  the  Netherlands  from  the 
persecutions  of  Spain  and  Portugal.  From  my 
earliest  youth  the  history  of  my  forefathers 
has  been  an  object  of  meditation  and  study  ; 
the  modem  part,  especially,  first  drew  my 
attention,  and  both  my  heart  and  imagination 
were  captivated  by  the  task  of  exploring  the 
annals  of  Israel's  dispersion  and  exile. 

I  sought  eagerly  for  an  answer  to  the 
important  question,  What  can  be  the  reason 
of  my  people's  continuing  to  be  a  nation,  after 
having  lost  all  the  requisites  usually  essential 
to  a  national  existence?  Through  the  merciful 


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Vlll  PREFACE. 

guidance  of  the  God  of  my  fathers,tlie  attempt 
to  solve  this  question  became,  in  his  hand,  the 
means  of  leading  me  to  the  knowledge  of  His 
blessed  Son,  the  Lord  Jesus.  I  will  not  here 
relate  the  various  circumstances  which  con- 
tributed to  prepare  my  mind  to  receive  con- 
viction and  faith  ;  this  instance  will  suffice  for 
our  present  purpose. 

Amid  the  atmosphere  of  incredulity  and 
false  religious  opinion  in  which  I  lived,  my 
researches  into  the  records  of  my  ancestors, 
and  of  my  nation,  brought  me,  by  degrees,  to 
acknowledge  the  historical  truth  of  the  Old 
and,  subsequently,  of  the  New  Testament.  I 
was  led  insensibly,  from  thought  to  thought, 
from  induction  to  induction,  till  I  came  to  the" 
simple  and  certain  conclusion,  that  the 
wonderful  and  unprecedented  circumstance 
of  the  existence  of  the  Jewish  nation  and 
their  varied  doctrines,  during  the  space  of 
3,000  or  4,000  years,  could  oijy  be  accounted 
for  by  admitting  these  three  truths: — Their 
election  by  God  as  his  people,  on  account 
of  that  Just  One  who  W£is  to  be  born  of  the 
seed  of  Abraham ;  their  present  misery,  be- 
cause of  their  rejection  of  Messiah;  and  the 
divine  origin  of  the  prophecies,  foretelling 
their  long  period  of  suffering,  as  well  as  their 


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PREFACE.  IX 

future  restoratiou  and  conversion.  Thus,  from 
mere  family  interests,  was  I  led,  by  the  provi- 
dence of  God,  to  trace  the  history  of  my 
people  up  to  the  call  of  Abraham,  and  to 
follow  it  from  thence  to  the  coming  of  Jesus 
Christ,  the  son  of  David,  the  light  of  the 
Gentiles,  and  the  glory  of  his  people  Israel. 

More  than  a  quarter  of  a  century  has  now 
elapsed  since  the  epoch  which  decided  the  fate 
of  my  whole  life,  and  yet  Israel's  history, 
as  written  in  the  book  of  books,  or  found  in 
the  scattered  records  of  their  1800  years  of 
exile,  has  never  ceased  to  occupy  my  thoughts, 
and  to  employ  a  portion  of  my  time.  While 
entering  into  the  details  of  this  wondrous 
history,  I  have  discovered  more  and  more 
its  perfect  harmony  with  J;he  dispensations  of 
God,  and  the  declarations  of  His  Word ;  and 
the  Jewish  nation  has  been  brought  to  my 
view  more  strikingly  as  an  abiding  testimony 
to  the  truth  of  the  Christian  religion,  a  living 
commentary  upon  the  Scriptures,  a  certain 
pledge  of  the  entire  ftilfilment  of  prophecy. 

The  sketch  of  Jewish  history  presented  in 
these  pages,  and  viewed  in  the  light  of  Chris- 
tian truth,  may  perhaps  appear  as  foolishness, 
and  an  offence  to  my  brethren  concerning  the 
flesh;  but  in  taking  up  the  book,  they  will 


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X  PREFACE. 

find,  nevertheless,  that  it  still  bears  the  im- 
press of  its  author's  Israelitish  origin. 

Surely,  in  confessing  myself,  by  the  grace  of 
God,  a^  disciple  of  Jesus  Christ,  I  did  not 
cease — nay,  then  I  only  began,  to  rejoice  that 
I  was  indeed  a  Jew. 

And  now,  let  my  book  speak  for  itself;  in 
giving  it  the  title  of  a  sketch,  I  have  dis- 
avowed every  pretension  to  its  being  considered 
a  regular  history,  or  even  an  attempt  at  one. 
A  universal  history  of  the  Jews  in  modem 
times,  relating  their  wanderings,  and  entering 
into  the  details  of  their  manners,  customs, 
literature,  and  biography,  on  the  scale  of 
Basnage,  but  written  in  a  more  correct  and 
interesting  manner,  with  the  additional  light 
which  time  and  science  have  now  thrown 
upon  the  subject,  is  still  to  be  desired.  What 
is  here  brought  forward,  can  only  be  consi- 
dered as  the  contribution  of  a  stone  to  the 
building,  for  we  have  but  attempted  a  glance, 
into  the  chaos  of  materials,  though  a  glance 
happily  directed,  may,  perhaps,  lead  to  a  dis- 
covery valuable  to  science,  or  the  confirmation 
of  faith. 

In  my  "  Lectures  on  Jewish  History,"  which 
form  the  groundwork  of  this  sketch,  I  have 
endeavoured  to  notice  especially  the  relations 


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FBEFACE.  XI 

of  my  people  with  all  the  nations  of  the 
world,  from  the  earliest  days  of  their  existence 
to  the  present  time ;  to  remark  upon  what  the 
Gentiles  are  for  the  Jews,  either  as  means  of 
instruction  or  of  chastisement,  and  what  Israel 
has  been,  and  still  is,  for  the  Gentiles,  either 
as  witnesses  to  the  truth,  and  victims  of  their 
own  unbelief,  or  as  the  people  kept  apart,  to 
impart  light  and  salvation  to  the  Gentiles. 

The  subject  will  be  divided  into  four  parts. 
The  First  Book  will  give  a  glance  over  the 
principal  features  of  the  Jewish  history,  both 
in  Palestine  and  beyond  its  borders,  before 
the  destruction  of  Jerusalem,  with  a  short 
account  of  the  subsequent  fate  of  that  city. 

The  Second  Book  gives  a  view  of  the  Jev^dsh 
people  in  their  double  captivity  of  the  East 
and  West,  from  the  fall  of  their  temple  and 
country,  to  the  close  of  the  Middle  Ages. 

The  Third  Book  wiU  contain  a  history  of 
the  Jewish  exiles  in  Spain  and  Portugal.  If 
this  part  appear  to  be  more  elaborately 
worked  out  than  the  rest,  it  is  not  only  on 
account  of  the  numerous  sources  of  informa- 
tion to  which  the  author's  birth  and  parentage 
gave  him  access ;  but  also  because  a  multitude 
of  facts,  not  generally  known,  form  character- 


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XU  FEEFACE. 

istic  features  in  the  records  of  this  portion  of 
Israel's  exiles. 

The  Fourth  Book  views  the  position  of  the 
Jews,  in  their  connexion  with  the  Beformation 
of  the  sixteenth  century,  the  revolution  of  the 
eighteenth,  and  the  great  social  and  political 
movements  of  the  present  day;  with  the 
glorious  advent  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  the 
King  of  the  Jews,  and  the  establishment  of 
his  kingdom. 

May  the  Lord  bless  the  reading  of  these 
pages  to  all  who  take  them  in  hand,  whether 
Jew  or  Christian,  Israelite  or  Grentile !    Amen. 


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INTRODUCTION. 


From  a  very  early  period  of  the  world's  his- 
tory, we  find  a  people  living  amidst  the 
nations,  and  conversing  with  them  in  close 
connexion,  yet  kept  completely  apart,  and 
preserved  unmixed,  by  means  of  characteristics 
exclusively  their  own. 

This  people  is  the  only  nation  that  can, 
vnth  certainty,  trace  its  origin,  through  one 
family,  to  a  single  individual.  They  call 
themselves  the  children  of  Abraham,  Isaac, 
and  Jacob.  A  doubt  has  never  been  raised  as 
to  the  reality  of  this  origin,  so  strongly  has  it 
been  established  by  the  records  of  tradition 
and  history.  Yet,  although  no  nation  dis* 
putes  with  them  this  honour,  no  one  envies 
them  its  possession,  so  entirely  has  the  hatred 
of  all  degraded  a  title  of  the  highest  honour 
into  a  sign  of  reproach,  contempt,  and  ex« 
elusion* 


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2  INTRODUCTION. 

As  children  of  Abraham,  guardians  and 
confessors  of  the  law  of  Moses  and  the  predic- 
tions of  the  prophets,  they  bear  by  a  personal 
mark  the  testimony  of  their  genealogy,  in 
the  ordinance  of  circumcision.  As  disciples  of 
Moses,  they  have  now  for  thirty-four  centuries 
raised  the  cry,  "  Hear,  O  Israel,  the  Lord  our 
God  is  one  God;'*  and  every  Sabbath-day, 
even  to  the  present  time,  Moses  and  the  pro- 
phets are  read  in  their  synagogues,  in  the 
same  order  as  when  the  Apostle  St.  James 
mentions  the  fact  1800  years  ago,  as  already, 
in  his  time,  an  ancient  custom. 

They  are  an  Eastern  nation,  and  after  hun- 
dreds and  thousands  of  years,  though  natu- 
ralized in  the  west,  they  still  bear  the  features 
of  an  Oriental  extraction.  Their  strongly- 
marked  countenance  exhibits,  on  the  one 
hand,  their  relationship  with  the  Arabs  of  the 
desert,  the  children  of  Abraham  by  Ishmael  ; 
and  bears,  on  the  other,  in  its  deeply-stamped 
impress  of  suffering,  a  memorial  of  the  cruelty 
and  oppression  of  a  long  succession  of  ages. 

They  have  ever  been  a  people  of  sojauvners  ; 
their  first  father  sojourned  in  the  country  pro** 
mised  to  his  posterity,  and  when  themselves 
settled  in  Canaan,  their  religion  still  led  them 
to  preserve  the  feeling  that  they  were  but 


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INTRODUCTION.  8 

'*  sojourners  in  the  land,"  Long  before  the 
fall  of  Jerusalem,  and  their  entire  dispersion, 
numbers  of  them  already  sojourned  in  Assyria, 
Babylonia,  and  Persia ;  thus  we  read  of  Daniel 
and  Nehemiah,  at  the  Courts  of  those  nations; 
and  in  later  times,  we  find  Israelites  estab* 
lished  in  Egypt  and  Macedonia,  and  enrolled 
as  Roman  citizens,  both  in  the  great  city  itself, 
and  in  the  provinces.  Since  the  final  destruc- 
tion of  Jerusalem,  they  have  become  acclima* 
tized  tq,  every  region,  and  while  scattered 
among  every  diversity  of  nation,  have  assumed 
something  of  the  character  of  the  people 
among  whom  they  dwelt.  Nevertheless,  a 
principle  of  unity  has  prevailed  throughout 
the  whole  dispersion  of  Israel,  and  they  have 
remained  in  every  climate,  and  among  every 
nation,  representatives  of  what  all  mankind 
really  are — descendants  of  one  &mily  and  one 
father. 

Two  powerful  religions  derive,  though  in  a 
very  different  manner,  their  origin  from  the 
existence  of  this  people.  Both  in  the  Gospel 
of  truth,  and  the  imposture  of  the  Koran,  the 
Others  of  Israel  are  recognised  as  the  fathers 
of  their  respective  fSsuth.  In  both  these  creeds 
the  prophets  of  Israel  are  honoured  as  men  of 
B  2 


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4  IKTROpUCTION. 

God,  and  the  City  of  Jerusalem  as  a  holy  city. 
But  neither  from  this  high  antiquity,  nor  from 
the  possession  of  a  history  full  of  touching  and 
sublime  incidents,  and  still  shadowing  forth 
the  distant  fiiture,  has  any  benefit  accrued  to 
the  Israelite,  either  in  the  East  or  West 
The  names  even  which  God  gave  to  his  ancient 
people,  S3  honourable  memorials,  the  nations, 
both  Mahometans  and  professing  Christians, 
have  turned  into  a  by-word,  so  that  Israelite 
has  become  a  term  of  reproach,  and  Jew  (son 
of  Judah)  a  contemptuous  epithet. 

What  a  theme  for  anxious  contemplation  to 
the  whole  world,  is  the  people  whose  history 
spreads  over  4000  out  of  the  whole  6000 
years  that  contain  the  records  of  the  human 
race  I  while  even  the  modem  part  of  it  can  be 
traced  back  during  a  period  of  1800  years ! 

Were  there  now  in  existence  even  a  single 
individual  who  could  with  certainty  trace  his 
pedigree  from  one  of  the  ancient  Greek  or 
Roman  families,  with  what  care  and  interest 
would  such  a  circumstance  be  investigated,  as 
a  living  remnant  of  antiquity !  And  yet  Israel, 
the  very  Israel  whose  annals  extend  to  the 
most  remote  periods  of  sacred  and  profane  his- 
tory, still  remains,  not  as  a  remnant  only,  con« 


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INTRODUpriOK.  5 

sisting  of  a  few  solitary  individuals  or  families, 
but  the  whole  body  of  the  'people  still  exists, 
scattered  over  every  part  of  our  globe. 

To  the  Ghristian  especially,  how  deeply  in- 
teresting a  subject  for  meditation  and  study  t 
In  this  people  he  beholds  involuntary  wit- 
nesses to  the  truth  of  all  that  Gbd  has  spoken 
to  man,  from  the  beginning,  and  through  suc- 
cessive ages,  concerning  his  Anointed.  He 
sees  in  this  people  the  very  flesh  and  blood 
from  which  Jesus  Christ  himself,  as  the  Son 
of  man,  became  incarnate.  He  sees  a  living 
proof  of  the  truth  of  prophecies  fulfilled,  and 
of  those  yet  unaccomplished,  as  well  as  a 
visible  monument  of  the  historic  realities  upon 
which  the  Christian  feith  is  based. 

The  marked  distiuction  of  the  Jewish  people 
from  every  other  nation,  is  a  result  of  the  sepa- 
ration ordained  and  established  by  Grod  him- 
self between  them  and  all  the  other  families  of 
the  earth,  who  were,  nevertheless,  to  be  blessed 
in  their  seed.  Their  religious  worship,  their 
customs,  their  feasts,  and  their  fasts,  are  all 
abiding  monuments  of  the  authenticity  of  the 
Old  Testament. 

Their  constant  expectation  of  the  Messiah,  is 
an  effect  of  the  reality  of  the  promise  given,  and 
ofttimes  repeated,  to  their  fathers,  woven,  as  it 


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6  INTBOpUCTION. 

were,  into  the  very  tissae  of  that  Scripture  which 
was  gradually  enrolled  during  the  whole  na- 
tional existence  of  the  people  of  Israel.  Their 
final  dispersion,  and  prolonged  misery,  during 
the  eighteen  centuries  in  which  they  have 
existed,  without  King,  without  temple,  with- 
out sacrifice,  without  country, — ^but  also  with- 
out teraphim,  and  without  idols,  shows  the 
Divine  origin  of  their  own  fulfilled  prophecies 
respecting  Him  whom  they  have  waited  for, 
and  yet  rejected, — whom  they  have  pierced, 
and  whom  they  will  one  day  adore. 

Still  continuing  a  people,  though  deprived 
of  all  the  usual  essentials  of  a  national  exist- 
ence, they  have  survived  the  most  powerful 
nations  and  dynasties  of  the  world,  while  sunk 
to  the  lowest  depth  of  humiliation  under  the 
very  feet  of  the  Oentiles.  The  Infidel  even 
must  acknowledge,  that  in  this  there  is  some- 
thing strange^  startling,  wonderful!  but  the 
Christian  recognises  with  a  feeling  of  rever- 
ence, in  the  imperishable  endurance  of  this 
despised  and  often  despicable  people,  the 
finger  of  that  God  by  whose  word  alone  they 
have  been  preserved,  though,  according  to  the 
principles  of  human  reason,  and  all  the  known 
laws  and  processes  of  nature,  they  must  infal- 
libly have  perished.     In  meditating  on  this 


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INTBODUCTIOK.  7 

subject,  the  Christian  is  led  back  to  a  contem« 
plation  of  other  harmonies  subsisting  in  God's 
varied  dealings  with  his  people  in  former  ages. 
How  perfect,  for  instance,  is  the  coincidence 
of  the  seed  given  to  Abraham,  not  according 
to  the  course  of  nature,  but  in  fulfilment  of  the 
Divine  promise,  and  the  birth  of  a  Saviour, 
fulfilling  to  the  very  letter  the  word  spoken  by 
the  ^ophet, ''  Behold,  a  virgin  shall  conceive !  '* 
As  the  Israelites  are  the  only  people  able  to 
trace  their  origin  from  a  single  family,  and  a 
single  patriarch,  and  thus  follow  up  their 
descent  from  the  father  of  mankind ;  so,  on 
the  other  hand,  are  they  the  only  people  who 
have  preserved,  through  a  succession  of  cen* 
turies,  a  definite  expectation  of  their  future 
destiAy,  to  which  they  have  clung  through 
every  period  of  their  long  dispersion.  This 
expectation  rests  upon  the  same  prophetic 
Scriptures  which  foretold  and  described  their 
present  state  of  exile  and  suffering,  which  also 
announced  the  painful  death  and  future  glory 
of  the  Messiah,  and  with  that  glory  connects 
the  blessings  of  a  spiritual  and  national  resto- 
ration for  Israel,  light  over  the  whole  world, 
and  peace  upon  all  nations  united  with  the 
andent  people  of  God,  beneath  the  sceptre  of 
the  Son  of  David  and  the  Son  of  God.     The 


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8  INTEODUCTlONi 

Gospel  confirms  the  prophecies  and  seals  afresh 
these  promises.  The  Apostle  St.  Paul,  in  the 
eleventh  chapter  of  the  Epistle  to  the  Romans, 
beautifully  concentrates,  as  in  a  focus,  the  pro- 
phetic rays  of  the  Old  Testament,  when  he 
says,  "If  the  casting  away  of  them  be  the 
reconciling  of  the  world,  what  shall  the  receiv- 
ing of  them  be,  but  life  from  the  dead  ]  The 
fulness  of  the  Gentiles  shall  come  in,  and  so 
all  Israel  shall  be  saved.*'  In  these  few  words 
a  key  is  given  by  which  the  future  destiny  of 
the  nations  is  laid  open  to  us,  while  the  pro- 
phecies of  the  Old  and  New  Testament  com- 
bine to  form  a  complete  commentary  upon 
these  words,  which  are,  in  fact,  the  centre  of 
the  whole  future  history  of  Israel  and  the 
Gentiles.  Surely,  when  we  rightly  regard  the 
annals  of  this  people,  reaching  backward  to 
the  most  remote  antiquity,  and  looking  for- 
ward to  a*  futurity  which  has  been  long  pre- 
dicted, with  its  course  lighted  up  by  the 
gradual  fulfilment  of  prophecy,  we  should  not 
overlook  the  details  of  its  darkest  and  saddest 
periods.  It  is,  without  doubt,  a  history  of 
sorrows,  and  of  almost  unprecedented  misery ; 
for  it  tells  of  a  people  of  sorrows  on  account 
of  their  sins.  But  should  not  this  very  pecu- 
liarity give  it  fresh  interest  in  the  eyes  of  the 


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INTBOBUCTION.  9 

Christian,  who  rests  his  salvation,  his  hope, 
his  ally  upon  a  Man  of  sorrows  also,  but  of 
sorrow  without  sin  ? 

In  our  days  especially,  the  most  striking 
circumstances  and  the  most  startling  signs  of 
the  times  concur  to  increase,  in  a  remarkable 
degree,  feelings  of  interest  in  the  Jewish 
people.  The  times  in  which  we  live  are  such, 
that  no  one  can  deny  their  portent  of  a  future, 
to  which  each  day  seems  ready  to  give  birth. 
A  great  inquiry  agitates  the  minds  and  stirs 
the  hearts  of  many  as  to  what  will  be  the  final 
issue  of  all  the  revolutionary  movements  and 
complications  which  are  now  taking  place, 
while,  at  the  same  time,  the  opposite  prin- 
ciples of  faith  and  Infidelity,  superstition  and 
science,  combine  to  multiply  daily  changes  in 
our  moral  and  social  life.  The  Christian 
alone  knows  the  result  to  which  all  this  tends, 
while,  in  singleness  of  heart,  he  examines  and 
ponders  the  prophetic  words  of  his  Lord  and 
Saviour, — that  he  shall  come  on  the  clouds  of 
heaven,  and  then  shall  be  fulfilled  all  that  the 
prophets  and  holy  men  of  the  Old  Testament 
have  spoken  concerning  the  Messiah  of  Israel, 
the  Desire  of  aU  nations.  He  shall  reign  as 
King  over  the  house  of  Jacob ;  the  Lord  God 
shall  give  him  the  throne  of  his  father  David. 
B  3 


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10  INTRODUCTION. 

He  shall  reign  from  sea  to  sea,  and  from  the 
river  to  the  ends  of  the  earth.  Under  his 
sceptre  shall  the  twelve  tribes  of  Israel  be 
again  united ;  all  the  nations  of  the  earth  shall 
share  in  their  peace  and  glory,  and  bovF  toge- 
ther in  submiBsion  to  that  sceptre  of  justice, 
truth,  and  love.  The  whole  earth  shall  be 
covered  with  the  knowledge  of  God,  and  the 
light  of  his  glory;  the  wicked,  and  all  the 
powers  of  wickedness,  shall  be  destroyed,  and 
the  prince  of  this  world  cast  out.  Jerusalem 
shall  rise,  covered  with  glory,  from  her  state 
of  humiliation,  as  the  dead  who  have  believed 
in  Christ  come  forth  from  their  graves.  The 
last  book  of  the  Bible  sums  up  all  these  bless* 
ings  in  its  closing  words :  ^^  I  Jesus  am  the  root 
and  offspring  of  David,  and  the  bright  and 
morning  star.     Behold,  I  came  quickly.'' 

Never,  tiU  our  days,  has  the  attention  of 
men  been  so  forcibly  drawn  to  the  Scripture 
prophecies  of  the  Old  and  New  Testament,  nor 
the  hearts  of  Christians  so  prepared  to  look 
for  their  accomplishment.  This  diligent  search, 
this  waking  up  of  attention,  forms  the  charac- 
teristic of  a  new  era  in  the  Christian  Church, 
and  the  period  from  which  we  may  date  its 
commencement,  is  the  latter  part  of  the  eigh- 
teenth century,  at  precisely  the  same  period 


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INTKODUCTIOlf.  11 

'when  the  epoch  of  revolutiond  began  in  the 
history  of  the  world.     This  coincidence  is  the 
more  worthy  of  remark,  because  at  the  mo- 
ment when  Infidelity  is  shaking    the  very 
foundation  of  the  Papacy,  and  under  the  guise 
of  philosophy  and   rationalism,    threatening 
to  undermine  and  endanger  the  Protestant 
Churches,-*-behold  at  once  a  fresh   banner 
raised,  and  a  new  rallying  point  marked  out, 
to  direct  the  ^th,  the  zeal,  and  the  exertions 
of  the  Christian.      On  all   sides,  voices  are 
heard,  calling  to  a  deeper  and  more  careful 
investigation  of  the  Revelation  of  St.  John, 
and  to  more  literal  and  faithful  interpreta^ 
tions  of  the  prophecies  of  Israel,  which  pro- 
mise not  only  individual  conversion  and  future 
bliss,  but  also  the  visible  glory  of  Christ,  and 
his  reign  upon  earth,  over  Israel  and  all  the 
nations.   All  this  has  naturally  led  to  a  deeper 
interest  in  the  history  and  the  fate  of  Israel ; 
and  this  interest  is  a  more  remarkable  sign  of 
the  times,  because  it  coincides  with  the  striv* 
ing  of  spirit  which   is    now    taking    place 
among  the  ancient  people  themselves.     All 
the  changes  that  have  occurred  in  Europe, 
since  the  latter  part  of  the  eighteenth  century, 
and  those  which  are  even  now  happening,  com- 
bine to  alter  the  whole  social  and  political  posi-^ 


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12  INTEODUCTIOK. 

tion  of  the  Jewish  people,  and  to  form  a  new  era 
in  the  annals  of  Israel's  exile.  The  Talmud, 
which  like  a  massive  wall  defended  the  Jew 
from  every  Christian  influence,  is  now  tottering 
and  giving  way  in  many  places.  In  the  midst 
of  Israel,  voices  are  heard  asking  for  a  modified 
and  more  popular  form  of  worship,  in  imitation 
of  the  Christian  nations  among  whom  they 
dwell.  Hence  has  arisen  in  some  of  the 
people,  an  almost  total  negligence  of  the 
memorials  and  traditions  of  their  fathers; 
while  to  others,  an  increasing  opportunity  is 
afforded  for  the  study  and  reception  of  the 
Gospel.  For  several  years  past,  the  number 
of  Jewish  converts  to  the  Christian  faith,  from 
all  classes,  has  been  great;  still  greater  has 
been  the  increase  of  closer  ties  than  the  mere 
commercial  relation  formerly  subsisting  be* 
tween  the  Jew  and  the  people  of  the  country 
in  which  he  lived. 

Among  the  Jews  themselves,  fresh  vigour 
displays  itself  in  every  department  of  the  arts 
and  sciences ;  in  Germany,  the  sons  of  Israel 
are  distinguished  professors  of  philosophy, 
letters,  astronomy,  and  jurisprudence.  Like 
their  fore&thers,  before  the  catastrophe  which 
put  an  end  to  their  political  existence,  the 
descendants  of  Abraham   for   the  last  half- 


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INTRODUCTION*  13 

century  have  again  borne  arms  with  honour. 
The  poetic  harp  of  Israel  sounds  for  the  first 
time  to  European  accents,  and  Israelitish 
names  are  found  among  the  greatest  masters 
of  music  in  our  day.  In  almost  every  part  of 
Europe,  Israelites  afford  to  the  country  of 
their  sojourn  the  benefit,  not  of  riches  only, 
but  of  talent,  genius,  and  learning.  In  Ger* 
many,  they  are  obtaining  a  release  from  every 
legal  restraint,  and  in  England,  from  whence 
they  were  in  the  thirteenth  century  ignomini* 
ously  expelled,  they  have  received  an  all  but 
complete  emancipation.  All  this  yet  forms  no 
part  of  Israel's  restoration,  but  may  not  the 
Christian  view  these  facts  as  already  a  ^^  shaking 
of  the  bones  "  t    (Ezek.  xxxvii.) 

The  Romish  Church  has  always  thought  of 
the  Jewish  people  as  a  great  multitude,  destined 
in  the  latter  days  to  be  gathered  into  the 
bosom  of  the  mother  Church  of  the  Gentiles. 
Protestantism  long  looked  coldly  and  with 
indifference  upon  the  future  hopes  and  pro- 
mised conversion  of  God*s  ancient  people.  It 
remained  for  the  revival  of  Gospel  truth  in 
our  days  to  encourage  a  deeper  search  into 
unfulfilled  prophecy,  and  thus  bring  Israel 
more  clearly  to  view,  as  the  people  long  dis- 
persed, but  destined  to  be  again  gathered,  and 


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16  INTBODUCTIOK. 

considering  the  Israelites  in  their  relations 
with  Egypt,  and  afterwards  with  the  different 
nations  and  tribes  of  Asia,  with  whom  they 
were  brought  in  contact,  either  as  neighbours 
and  enemies,  or  by  the  bonds  of  alliance  and 
relationship  with  Midian,  Edom,  Moab,  Am^p^ 
mon,  the  Philistines,  the  Syrians,  the  Assyrians, 
and  under  the  four  great  monarchies  of  Babylon, 
Persia,  Macedonia,  and  Rome.  After  viewing 
the  Israelites  in  connexion  with  the  Gospel, 
in  the  fulness  of  time,  we  shall  follow  them 
into  their  dispersion  and  captivity  in  the  East 
and  West ;  in  the  Eoman  empire,  in  Europe, 
and  Asia;  in  connexion  with  the  Parthians 
and  the  Persians,  the  Ostrogoths,  and  the 
Visigoths;  with  Arabia,  and  the  rise  of  Ma- 
hometanism,  the  Franks,  the  Germans,  the 
Normans,  the  English,  the  Poles,  and  the 
Sclavonian  nations  in  general.  We  shall 
particularly  notice  their  relations  with  Spain 
and  Portugal,  and  afterwards  with  the  Low 
Countries,  Great  Britain,  France,  Italy,  and 
America ;  and  view  them,  lastly,  in  respect  to 
their  position  at  the  present  time,  and  their 
own  future  expectations. 

We  shall  contemplate  Israel  in  this  picture 
as  the  people  of  the  greatest  privileges,  and 
the  darkest  transgressions ;  the  deepest  tribu^ 


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'1^ i 


INTRODUCTION.  17 

latdon,  and  the  brightest  hopes :  but  the  object 
most  prominently  brought  forward  will  be  the 
alternate  power  of  the  principles  of  attraction 
and  repulsion,  shown  forth  in  its  effects  upon 
every  relation  of  Israel  with  the  nations  of  the 
world.  There  has  long  been  a  gulf  fixed 
between  the  two,  but,  reconciled  and  united 
by  the  cross  of  Christ,  they  will  one  day  enjoy 
together  their  respective  privileges,  united  for 
ever,  yet  never  confounded. 


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BOOK  L 

THE  ISRAELITES  IN  EGYPT. 

A  VERY  interesting  period  in  the  history  of  the 
Israelites  first  brings  them  into  contact  with 
the  Egyptians,  for  in  the  country  of  the  latter, 
the  family  became  a  people,  and  changed  their 
wandering  and  pastoral  life  for  the  labours 
of  agriculture.  Jacob  came  into  Egypt  with 
seventy  persons,  under  one  Pharaoh,  and  six 
hundred  thousand  children  of  Israel  left  the 
country,  some  centuries  after,  in  the  reign  of 
another.  Before  their  entrance,  the  Israelites 
had  given  to  Egypt  a  Joseph,  who  by  his 
wisdom  had  preserved  both  the  king  and 
country ;  in  return,  Egypt,  and  Pharaoh's 
house,  gave  them  a  Moses.  But  Moses,  in  the 
palace  of  Pharaoh,  was  not  alone  brought  up 
in  "  all  the  wisdom  "  of  one  of  the  most  cele- 
brated nations  in  the  world — the  whole  people 
of  Israel  shared  in  this  education.  If  we  look 
only  upon  the  oppression  and  bondage  which 
marked  the  later  days  of  the  sojourn  of  the 


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ISRAEL  ANJ>  EGYPT.  19 

Israelites  in  Egypt,  we  receive  a  very  incom- 
plete idea  of  the  whole  period;  this  slavery 
and  oppression  was  but  a  conseqaence  of  the 
rapid  increase  and  great  prosperity  of  the 
children  of  Israel.  In  1  Chron.  iv.  18,  a 
glimpse  is  afforded  us  of  the  earlier  and 
happier  days  of  their  abode  on  the  banks  of 
the  Nile. 

Nothing  can  be  more  simple  and  natural 
than  the  conclusion,  that  to  highly  civilized 
Egypt,  the  children  of  Israel  (under  the 
powerful  guidance  of  the  God  of  their  fathers) 
were  indebted  for  all  the  advantages  of  civili- 
zation; and  especially  for  the  use  of  the 
alphabet,  an  indispensable  requisite  for  the 
reception  of  their  future  legislature,  and  the 
preservation  of  Divine  revelation.  We  may 
notice  another  very  important  point,  in  observ- 
ing the  dose  connexion  of  the  children  of 
Israel,  while  becoming  a  people,  with  the 
country  of  Mitzraim.  It  is,  if  we  may  so 
express  it,  the  Egyptian  peculiarity  of  Moses, 
their  legislator  and  leader,  and  the  Egyptian 
character  that  pervades  the  whole  Pentateuch. 
Moses  himself  was,  in  some  sense,  an  Egyptian ; 
not  only  was  he  called  so  by  Jethro's  daughters, 
whom  he  delivered  from  the  hands  of  the  shep- 
herds, but  the  Egyptian  character  was  very 


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20  I8&AEL  AND    EGYPT* 

strongly  and  decidedly  stamped  upon  his  person 
and  upon  all  his  actions.  Brought  up  in  the 
house  of  Pharaoh's  daughter,  and  at  the  court 
of  the  king,  trained  in  all  the  wisdom  which 
at  that  time  distinguished  the  Egyptians  from 
every  other  nation,  the  influence  of  this  educa^ 
tion  clung  to  him  through  life,  and  entered 
into  his  Divine  calling. 

God  often  prepares  his  chosen  instruments 
by  human  means  for  their  ultimate  destination 
in  his  service.  Thus  was  St.  Paul  made  ready 
by  Pharisaical  Judaism  for  the  labour  which 
fell  to  his  share  after  his  conversion  to  Christ!** 
anity;  and  thus,  in  a  yet  more  wonderful 
manner,  was  the  education  Moses  received  in 
an  idolatrous  country  overruled  to  prepare  him 
for  a  high  calling  in  the  service  of  the  living 
God.  A  most  highly  civilized  nation,  deeply 
versed  in  law  and  political  wisdom,  arts, 
sciences,  and  mechanics,  was  appointed  to 
train  him  who  should  become,  under  the  power 
and  guidance  of  God,  their  ruler,  king,  guide, 
architect,  historian,  and  poet. 

The  statute  laws  of  Israel  recognise  the 
relation  subsisting  between  the  Egyptians  and 
the  people  of  God,  in  a  remarkable  passage, 
in  which,  while  the  nations  who  had  ill-treated 
or  were  likely  to  injure  the  Israelites,  were 


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ISRAEL  AIXD  EGYPT.  21 

excluded  from  communion  with  God,  an  ex- 
ception is  made  in  favour  of  the  Edomite, 
"for  he  is  thy  brother,"  and  the  Egyptian, 
"  because  thou  wast  a  stranger  in  his  land." 
(Dent,  xxiii.  7.) 

During  the  whole  succeeding  history  we 
may  observe  a  balance  preserved  in  the  rela- 
tionship between  Israel  and  Egypt.  No  return 
to  Egypt  was  permitted,  yet  no  enmity  might 
be  shown  to  the  Egyptians.  The  wife  of  that 
king  in  whose  reign  the  kingdom  of  Israel 
reached  the  height  of  its  prosperity  was  a 
daughter  of  Pharaoh.  In  later  times,  under 
the  successors  of  Solomon,  it  was  equally  dan- 
gerous for  Judah  to  have  the  Egyptians  as 
allies  or  enemies.  Josiah  fell  in  battle  against 
Fharaoh-Necho,  whom  he  had  provoked  to  the 
war ;  and,  on  the  other  hand,  little  help  was 
gained  by  his  successors  in  their  alliance  with 
Egypt  against  Babylon.  When  Jerusalem 
had  been  taken,  the  temple  destroyed,  and  the 
inhabitants  carried  captive  to  Babylon,  the 
measure  of  Jeremiah's  affliction  was  filled  up 
by  the  sinful  remnant,  who  returned  to  their 
ancient  house  of  bondage  and  compelled  the 
prophet  to  accompany  them  thither. 

In  the  Old  Testament  prophecies  we  find,  in 
connexion  with  the  complete  restoration  of 


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22  ISRAEL  AND   EOYFT. 

Israel,  promises  of  blessing  for  Egypt,  from 
whence  3300  years  since  the  Lord  brought 
forth  his  people,  and  "out  of  which"  also 
1800  years  ago  "He  hath  called  his  Son." 
"  In  that  day,"  saith  the  Prophet  Isaiah  (of  a 
time  to  which  no  past  epoch  can  refer) — "  in 
that  day  shall  there  be  an  altar  to  the  Lord  in 
the  midst  of  the  land  of  E^ypt,  and  a  pillar  at 
the  border  thereof  to  the  Lord/  And  it  shall 
be  for  a  sign  and  for  a  witness  unto  the  Lord 
of  Hosts  in  the  land  of  Egypt ;  for  they  shall 
cry  unto  the  Lord  because  of  the  oppressors, 
and  he  shall  send  them  a  Saviour,  and  a  great 
one,  and  he  shall  deliver  them*  And  the  Lord 
shall  be  known  to  Egypt,  and  the  Egyptians 
shall  know  the  Lord  in  that  day,  and  shall  do 
sacrifice  and  oblation;  yea,  they  shall  vow  a 
vow  unto  the  Lord,  and  perform  it.  And  the 
Lord  shall  smite  Egypt;  he  shall  smite  and 
heal  it,  and  they  shall  return  even  to  the  Lord, 
and  he  shall  be  intreated  of  them,  and  shall 
heal  them.  In  that  day  shall  there  be  a  high- 
way out  of  Egypt  to  Assyria,  and  the  Assyrians 
shall  come  into  Elgjrpt,  and  the  Egyptians  shall 
serve  with  the  Assyrians.  In  that  day  shaU 
Israel  be  the  third  with  Egypt,  and  with 
Assyria,  even  a  blessing  in  the  midst  of  the 
land.     Whom  the  Lord  of  Hosts  shaU  bless, 


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ISRAEL  AND   EGYPT.  23 

sayings  Blessed  be  Egypt  my  people,  and 
Assyria  the  work  of  mine  hands,  and  Israel 
mine  inheritance."  (Isa.  xix.  19 — 26.) 

With  a  strong  hand,  and  a  stretched-ont 
arm,  God  led  his  people  ont  of  Egypt.  Soon 
after  their  departure  thence,  the  Israelites 
received  the  pledge  of  their  existence  as  a 
people  in  the  Divine  Law  given  from  Mount 
Sinai ;  they  then  began  their  forty  years*  wan* 
derings  in  the  wilderness.  How  striking  must 
have  been  the  appearance  of  the  twelve  tribes 
of  Israel,  encamped  in  the  desert,  each  around 
its  own  banner,  their  four  sides  facing  the  four 
quarters  of  the  world,  whose  salvation  and 
glory  were  represented  by  the  tabernacle,  with 
its  holy  vessels  and  symbolic  services!  Yet 
the  people  were  destined  to  undergo  many 
chastenings  at  the  hand  of  God ;  as  the  vine 
branch  is  purged  that  it  may  bring  forth  more 
fruit,  so  were  the  murmurers  cut  off  from  the 
midst  of  Israel,  till  a  fresh  generation  arose,  to 
whom  the  promises  were  frilfiUed. 

Moses  witnessed  the  first  victory  of  the 
children  of  Israel  beyond  the  Jordan,  when 
Beuben,  Gad,  and  the  half  tribe  of  Manasseh, 
took  possession  of  the  land  of  Basan  and  of 
the  Amorites.  The  passage  of  the  river,  so 
striking  an  event  in  the  history  of  Israel,  was 


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24  ISRAEL   XSB   THE   GENTILES 

reseryed  for  Joshua.  With  him  began  the 
Heroic  age,  which  comprehended  four  hundred 
and  fifty  years,  including  David,  and  his  con- 
temporaries in  age  and  war. 

The  relations  between  Israel  and  the  sur- 
rounding nations  in  the  times  of  Moses,  Joshua, 
the  judges,  and  the  kings,  were  appointed  by 
Qod  himself,  and  made  a  part  of  the  laws  and 
constitution  of  the  state.  The  land  promised 
to  their  fathers  was  given  to  the  Israelites  on 
the  condition  of  their  keeping  it  and  them- 
selves free  from  idolatry,  and  thus  continuing 
the  people  of  the  only  living  and  true  God. 
From  the  beginning  they  neglected  this 
charge ;  they  spared  the  nations  God  had  sent 
them  to  punish,  and  even  joined  with  them  in 
serving  their  gods.  Thus  were  Canaanites 
left  in  the  midst  of  Israel,  who  became,  in  the 
hand  of  God,  a  pricking  brier  and  a  rod  of 
chastisement  for  his  unfaithful  and  disobedient 
people.  Jerusalem  remained  in  possession  of 
the  Jebusites  till  the  time  of  David,  who,  with 
his  valiant  men,  took  the  fortress  of  Zion,  and 
established  there  the  royal  residence  and  the 
abode  of  the  Ark  of  God. 

Even  the  evil  of  a  permanent  remnant  of 
the  nations  of  Canaan  existing  in  the  land, 
after  its  conquest  by  Israel,  was  turned  to 


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BEFORE   THE   FIRST   CAPTIVITY.  25 

good  by  the  hand  of  God,  and  made  use  of  for 
their  benefit,  "that  the  generations  of  the 
children  of  Israel  might  know,  to  teach  them 
war,  at  the  least  such  as  knew  nothing  thereof 
before."  (Judges  iii.  2.)  The  Israehtes  were 
destined  from  the  first  to  become  a  warlike 
people ;  this  character  is  implied  in  the  whole 
Mosaic  code,  and  it  continued  to  belong  to 
the  Jewish  people  until  their  complete  down- 
fell,  at  the  final  destruction  of  their  city  and 
temple.  This  character  disappeared  for  many 
centuries,  when  Israel  became  a  homeless 
wanderer  over  the  face  of  the  globe. 

The  peaceful  reign  of  Solomon  brings  us 
both  to  the  height  of  Israel's  prosperity  and 
grandeur,  and  to  the  commencement  of  its 
decline.  The  evil  influence  of  strangers  and 
idolatrous  nations,  which  the  ever-drawn  sword 
of  the  man  after  God's  own  heart  had  kept  for 
a  time  at  bay,  then  began  its  work  of  destruc* 
tion.  By  imitating  these  nations  in  many 
ways,  and  especially  in  their  varied  idolatries, 
the  children  of  Jacob  drew  down  upon  them- 
selves all  those  misfortunes  and  judgments, 
which  the  wrath  of  God  inflicted  for  their 
punishment.  Their  princes  set  the  example 
of   dangerous    and    unhallowed    connexions, 

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26  ISRAEL   AND   THE   GENTILES 

which  led  to  the  introduction  of  foreign  cus- 
toms and  the  most  horrible  practices. 

In  those  days  the  children  of  Israel  were, 
both  in  word  and  deed,  just  the  reverse  of 
what  they  became  in  later  times;  viz.,  the 
witnesses  and  preachers  of  the  only  true  God, 
in  the  midst  of,  and  in  opposition  to,  all  the 
false  religions  of  the  world.  This  position 
they  assumed  afler  the  Babylonian  captivity, 
and  this  truly  Israelitish  calling  was  shown 
forth  later  in  all  its  fulness,  at  the  preaching 
of  the  Cross.  We  look  to  see  it  once  more 
shine  forth  in  times  of  prophecy  yet  unfulfilled. 

However  wide  the  separation  formerly  estab* 
lished  between  the  Israelites  and  the  other 
nations,  the  Psalms  and  Prophecies  ever  look 
forward  to  the  union  of  these  two  great  divi- 
sions of  the  descendants  of  Adam  under  a 
single  sceptre.  The  address  which  is  contained 
in  the  few  words  of  the  117th  Psalm  is  the 
theme  of  numerous  songs  of  praise,  and  predic- 
tions of  future  glory : — "  O  praise  the  Lord,  all 
ye  nations,  praise  him,  all  ye  people.  For  his 
merciful  kindness  is  great  towards  us,  and  the 
truth  of  the  Lord  endureth  for  ever.  Praise 
ye  the  Lord."  For  centuries  the  Israelites 
were  led  by  God  to  expect  a  future  conversion 


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BEFORB  THE   FIRST   CAPTIVITY.  27 

of  the  Gentiles;  and  in  a  similar  manner, 
nnder  the  present  New  Testament  dispensa^ 
tion,  believers  in  Christ  among  the  Grentiles 
look  forward  to  the  complete  and  national  con* 
version  of  Israel.  The  prophecies  contain  as 
many  predictions  which  refer  to  the  Gentiles, 
as  to  the  Israelites  themselves,* — not  to  that 
day  alone  still  to  come  \^hich  shall  behold 
them  ranged  under  the  banner  of  the  Son  of 
Jesse, — they  also  tell  of  God's  varied  dealings 
with  them,  and  his  judgments  upon  them,  at 
times  and  in  circumstances  long  preceding  it, 
and  thus  exemplify  what  the  Apostle  St.  Paul 
says:  "Is  he  the  God  of  the  Jews  only?  Is 
he  not  of  the  Gentiles  also  %  Yes,  of  the  Gen* 
tiles  also."  (Rom.  iii.  29.) 

We  have  now  taken  a  general  view  of  the 
relations  between  the  Israelites  and  the  Asiatic 
nations  around  them,  before  the  first  destrue* 
tion  of  Jerusalem ;  the  more  particular  relation 
subsisting  between  them,  and  same  of  these  na^ 
tions,  is  interesting  for  many  reasons.  We  will 
notice,  first,  the  relative  position  of  the  Israelites 
and  Edomites,  the  descendants  of  Jacob  and 
Esau,  whose  history,  as  it  were,  began  in  the 
womb  of  their  mother,  Rebecca,  where  already 

•  Isa.  XV.,  XTiii.,  xix.,  xxiii. ;  Jer.  xlvi.,  xlvii.,  xlviii., 
xlix.>  L ;  Eaeek.  xxv.,  zxvii.,  xxiz.,  xxzL ;  Dan.  ii,  viL  . 
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28  ISRAEL  AND   EDOM. 

the  £Etthers  of  the  two  nations  struggled  to- 
gether; and  it  was  said  to  the  mother,  the 
^'  Great  shall  serve  the  Little'"  (Esau)  the  Greats 
by  priority  of  birth,  by  physical  force,  and  by 
rapidly  becoming  a  powerful  and  warlike 
nation,  was  compelled  to  give  place  to  (Jacob) 
the  Little,  because  of  the  promise  of  that  seed, 
in  whom  all  the  families  of  the  earth  should 
'be  blessed.  In  later  times,  the  brother  nation 
rivalled  Edom  in  the  number  of  its  people, 
and  the  extent  of  its  conquests.  In  those 
days,  however,  no  war  was  allowed  between 
two  nations  so  closely  allied  by  blood.  Thus 
the  people  of  God  were  forbidden  by  Moses 
to  make  an  attack  upon  the  Edomites,  though, 
on  their  approach  to  the  promised  land,  the 
latter  had  refused  to  the  people  of  Jacob  a 
passage  through  their  country,  and  water  to 
drink,  for  money.  Afterwards,  in  accordance 
vnth  Balaam's  prophecy,  the  country  of  the 
Edomites  became,  especially  in  David's  time, 
an  hereditary  possession  of  the  children  of 
Israel.  Under  David's  successors,  Edom  soon 
rebelled ;  more  than  once  reconquered,  it  was 
first  in  alliance,  and  afterwards  at  enmity,  viith 
Judah.  God  threatened  Edom  with  great 
judgments,  because  in  the  day  of  the  ruin  of 
the  children  of  Judah  (their  brethren)  ^Hhey 


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ISRAEL   AND   EDOH.  29 

rejoiced  and  did  shoot  out  the  Up  in  the  day 
of  their  distress."  Obadiah,  Jeremiah,  and 
Ezekiel  prophesied  to  this  effect,  in  the  later 
times,  as  had  done  before,  Isaiah,  Joel,  and 
Amos,  and  as  did  Malachi,  after  the  return 
from  Babylon. 

The  discoveries  lately  made  in  Idumea,  and 
its  capital  Petra,  verify  the  descriptions  given 
by  the  prophets  of  its  former  magnificence; 
while  they  testify,  at  the  same  time,  to  the 
literal  fulfilment  of  all  the  judgments  pro« 
nounced  against  it.  We  cannot  but  be  struck 
by  the  comment  which  the  gigantic  architect 
tural  remains  of  Edom  now  make  upon  those 
prophecies,  of  which  one  of  the  most  remark* 
able  was  uttered  by  Jeremiah: — "Thy  ter- 
ribleness  hath  deceived  thee,  and  the  pride 
of  thine  heart.  Oh  thou  that  dwellest  in  the 
clefts  of  the  rock,  that  boldest  the  height  of 
the  hills;  though  thou  shouldest  make  thy 
nest  as  high  as  the  eagle,  I  will  bring  thee 
down  from  thence,  saith  the  Lord."  (Jer. 
xUx.  16.) 

In  the  latter  days  of  Judah's  existence  as  a 
nation,  we  may  observe  a  very  different  con- 
nexion subsisting  between  the  Jews  and  the 
Edomites.  Under  the  Maccabees  the  descend- 
ants of  the  Great  (Esau),  were  still  subjected 
to  those  of  the  Little  (Jacob).     But,  at  last, 


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80  ISRAEL  AND   EDOM. 

Edom  in  his  turn  subjected  his  younger 
brother;  and  the  decline  of  the  Asmonean 
dynasty  prepared  the  way  for  the  glory,  and 
finally  the  dominion,  of  Antipater  the  Edomite, 
and  his  son,  Herod  the  Great  When  the  Son 
of  David  was  bom  in  the  stable  of  Bethlehem, 
the  persecuting  Edomite  was  king  at  Jeru- 
salem, and  thus  was  fulfilled  the  very  length 
and  breadth  of  the  prophecy  spoken  in  the 
house  of  the  Patriarch,  "  the  Great  shall  serve 
the  Little/'  The  Star  of  Jacob,  the  King  of 
Israel,  in  the]  humility  of  his  human  nature, 
was  then  made  manifest  as  that  Little  one, 
to  which  all  that  is  Great  in  this  world  must 
one  day  be  subjected  and  pay  homage. 

The  people  of  Israel  were  allied  in  a  degree 
with  Moab  and  Ammon,  the  descendants  of 
Lot,  Abraham's  nephew.  On  their  entrance 
into  Canaan,  the  inheritance  of  these  nations 
was  spared  by  the  command  of  God ;  yet  the 
Moabites  were  greatly  terrified  at  the  approach 
of  the  children  of  Israel,  and  Balak  their 
king  hired  a  false  prophet  to  curse  the 
people,  and  sent  the  daughters  of  his  land  to 
seduce  them  to  sin.  (Numb,  xxii.,  xxv.)  The 
curse  intended  by  Balaam,  was  changed  by  the 
power  of  God,  who  holds  in  his  hand  the  very 
thoughts  of  evil  men,  into  a  prophecy  of  bless- 
ing and  glory.    Thus  the  dawn  of  the  glorious 


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ISRAEL  AND   THE  PHCBNICIANS.  31 

Star  of  Jacob  was  announced  against  his  own 
will,  by  the  mouth  of  a  heathen,  as  well  as 
the  future  humiliation  of  Moab,  and  the  in- 
creasing prosperity,  of  Israel.  The  Ammon* 
ites  and  Moabites,  on  account  of  their  dis- 
graceful origin,  were  not  admitted  into  the 
congregation  of  the  Lord  till  the  tenth  genera^ 
tion«  Nevertheless,  there  is  in  Christ  recon- 
ciliation between  Moab  and  Israel,  and  it  was 
carried  into  effect  many  centuries  before  the 
birth  of  our  Saviour.  In  the  time  of  the  Judges, 
a  daughter  of  Moab,  having  faith  in  the  God  of 
Israel,  acted  with  kindness  and  fidelity  to  a 
widow  of  Judah,  and,  by  her  means,  the 
genealogy  of  the  king  of  Israel  still  transmits 
on  its  records  the  name  of  a  Moabitess.  In 
the  same  genealogy,  we  find  the  name  of 
another  daughter  of  Canaan,  Kahab,  of  Jeri- 
cho, who,  at  the  glorious  victory  of  the  chil- 
dren of  Israel,  was  made  the  first-fruits  of  the 
Gentiles  who  should  be  blessed  in  the  seed  of 
Abraham,  and  by  her  subsequent  marriage 
to  Salmon,  of  the  tribe  of  Judah,  she  also 
became  an  ancestress  of  the  incarnate  Messiah, 
the  Son  of  David.     (Matt.  i.  6.) 

Among  the  nations  of  Canaan,  the  Phoenici- 
ans have  afforded  most  matter  of  interest  to  uni- 
versal history.     We  also  find  them,  for  many 


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32  ISRAEL   AND   THE  FHSNICIANS. 

succeeding  centuries,  in  close  alliance  with  the 
people  of  Israel.  The  language  of  the  Phoeni- 
cians, notwithstanding  their  descent  from  an* 
other  son  of  Noah,  (the  Israelites  from  Shem, 
the  Phoenicians  from  Ham),  was  nearly  allied 
to  that  of  the  Israelites,  and  the  art  of  writing 
came  to  that  people  either  through  the  Egyp- 
tians,  or  at  once  from  the  Phoenicians,  its 
inventors.  With  Tyre  and  Sidon,  the  chief 
cities  of  this  celebrated  commercial  nation, 
the  Israelites,  after  their  settlement  in  Canaan, 
were  either  at  open  war,  or  engaged  in  com- 
mercial relations.  The  Sidonians  were  early 
mentioned  as  enemies  and  persecutors,  from 
whom  the  Lord  delivered  his  people,  after  he 
had  chastened  them  by  their  means.  (Judg. 
X.  1—12.) 

The  kings  of  Tyre  supplied  David  with 
cedar  wood ;  and  workmen  to  build  his  house, 
and  also  assisted  Solomon  in  building  the 
temple.  But  these  commercial  connections 
with  the  Phoenician  cities  communicated  also 
idolatry  and  immorality,  and  were  the  means 
of  bringing  the  iniquities  of  the  Sidonian 
Jezebel  and  Athaliah  upon  the  kingdoms  of 
Israel  and  Judah. 

The  high  exaltation  and  deep  debasement 
of  Tyre  were  both  spoken  of  by  the  prophets 


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ISRAEL  AND   THE  FHOSNICIANS.  33 

of  Israel.  Of  ancient  Tyre,  taken  by  Nebu- 
chadnezzar, and  modem  Tyre,  humbled  by 
Alexander  the  Great,  there  remains  scarcely 
a  ruin.  It  is  become  literally  ^^a  place  to 
spread  nets  on,"  as  foretold  by  Ezekiel.  But, 
for  the  inhabitants  of  Tyre,  as  well  as  for  the 
Phoenicians  in  general,  better  things  have  been 
foretold  by  men  of  God  in  Israel.  The  Psalm« 
ist  says,  ^'  I  will  make  mention  of  Bahab  and 
Babylon,  as  them  that  know  me;  behold 
Fhilistia  and  Tyre  with  Ethiopia."  (Psalm 
IxxxviL  4.)  As  in  the  days  of  Elijah  a  widow 
of  Sarepta,  a  city  of  Sidon,  found  grace  in  the 
sight  of  the  God  of  Israel,  so  in  the  time  of 
our  Saviour  a  Syro-Phoenician,  or  Canaanitish, 
woman,  also  sought  and  found  it  at  the  feet 
of  Jesus.  (St.  Mark  vii.  26.)  When  the 
Gospel  was  preached,  the  inhabitants  of  Tyre 
and  Sidon  gladly  received  what  was  first 
offered  to  the  Jews,  and  soon  after  we  find 
recorded  the  brotherly  love  and  consolation 
received  by  the  Apostle  of  the  Gentiles,  from 
the  Christian  communities  of  Tyre,  Sidon, 
and  Ptolemais.  (Acts  ?xi.  2 — 7,  xxvii.  3.) 
Thus,  the  Gospel  brought  not  Japhet  alone, 
but  also  Canaan,  into  the  tents  of  Shem. 

The  connexion  between  the  Israelites  and 
the  Syrians  is  an  abiding  feature  in  the  history 
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34  ISRAEL   AND   STRIA. 

of  the  former  people.  Syria,  situated  between 
Palestine  and  Mesopotamia,  bore  at  first,  in 
common  with  the  latter,  the  name  of  Aram. 
It  was  in  remembrance  of  this  part  of  Syria, 
(Fadan  Aram,  between  the  Euphrates  and 
Tigris),  that  the  Israelite,  each  year,  at  the 
feast  of  first-fruits,  confessed  before  God  that 
he  was  the  son  of  a  **  Syrian,  ready  to  perish." 
(Dent.  xxvi.  6.)  With  Aram,  more  properly 
speaking,  that  is  to  say,  Syria  beyond  the 
Euphrates,  the  kingdoms  of  Israel  and  Judah 
were  in  turns  bound  by  treaties  of  alliance,  or 
at  open  war.  Macedonian  Syria  subsequently 
subdued  the  Jewish  people,  and  continued  to 
persecute  and  oppress  them,  until  the  heroic 
Maccabees  restored  their  country  to  liberty. 

The  children  of  Abraham  were  also  closely 
united  to  Dam'ascus,  the  celebrated  city  of 
Ceelo-Syria.  Abraham  probably  dwelt  there 
for  some  time;  there,  at  least,  was  bom  his 
faithfrd  servant,  called  in  Scripture,  Eliezer, 
of  Damascus.  Although,  in  the  time  of  tiiie 
first  temple,  idolatry  and  enmity  against  the 
Jewish  people  existed  at  Damascus,  when  the 
Gk)spel  was  preached,  we  find  that  a  Jewish 
synagogue  had  long  been  established  there, 
and  from  it  arose  a  small  body  of  Christians. 
While  Saul  of  Tarsus  was  hastening  to  destroy 


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ISRAEL   WITH   AS8TEIA    AND    BABYLON.     35 

this  way,  it  was  before  the  gates  of  Damascus 
that  he  was  converted  to  the  &ith  he  had  per* 
secuted,  and  within  its  walls  he  first  preached 
the  Gospel. 

In  quite  a  different  maimer  from  any  we 
have  yet  considered,  were  the  Israelites  con- 
nected with  the  two  most  ancient  Asiatic 
monarchies.  The  Assyrians  and  Babylonians 
were  in  God's  hand  a  rod  of  chastisement  for 
his  people.  What  the  kingdom  of  the  ten 
tribes  suffered  from  the  Assyrians,  was  in- 
flicted in  later  times  by  the  Babylonians  upon 
the  people  of  Judah.  Both  these  kingdoms 
received  their  punishment  fix)m  God,  by  the 
hand  of  the  same  nations  with  whose  idols 
they  had  so  long  defiled  themselves,  and  pro- 
yoked  the  Lord  to  anger.  Shalmanezer,  king 
of  the  Assyrians,  carried  captive  great  part  of 
the  ten  tribes  into  his  own  country,  and  Sen- 
nacherib, his  successor,  had  prepared  a  similar 
&te  for  Judah ;  but  he  was  utterly  overthrown 
before  Jerusalem,  because  Hezekiah  and  Isaiah 
had  made  supplication  unto  Him  that  dwelleth 
between  the  cherubim.  .  Two  centuries  after, 
Babylon  carried  into  effect  what  Assyria  had 
threatened.  The  city  of  Jerusalem  was  taken, 
the  Temple  destroyed,  and  the  greater  part  of 
the  people  carried  captive  to  Babylon.    This 


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36  ISRAEL  WITH   ASSYRIA 

event  begins  a  new  era  in  the  hbtory  of  the 
Jews. 

The  ancient  division  of  the  people  of  Israel 
into  the  ten  and  the  two  tribes  (Ephraim  and 
Judah),  which  no  doubt  had  its  origin  in 
an  earlier  part  of  the  history,  before  their 
separation  under  Rehoboam  and  Jeroboam, 
has  subsisted  from  the  conquests  of  Assyria 
and  Babylon  to  the  present  time.  Their  re* 
union,  as  one  people,  containing  the  twelve 
tribes,  under  one  shepherd— Messiah,  the  Son 
of  David,  is  a  divine  blessing  foretold  by  the 
prophets,  which  cannot  be  said  to  be  in  any 
way  realized  by  the  partial  return  of  the  people 
of  Judah  from  Babylon. 

We  may,  however,  look  upon  these  facts  as 
well  ascertained;  first,  that  some  of  the  ten 
tribes  returned  to  their  own  country,  and 
settled  there  again  after  the  time  of  Shalma- 
nezer,  and  that  parts  of  Galilee  also  were 
inhabited  by  their  descendants.  It  is,  how- 
ever, equally  testified  by  prophecy,  history, 
and  tradition,  that  a  body  of  Israelites  of  the 
ten  tribes  have  been  perpetuated  on  some 
part  of  the  surface  of  our  globe ;  thus,  in  our 
days,  there  is  a  dispersion  both  of  Judah 
and  Ephraim  drawing  near  the  time  of  their 
reunion    and    re-establishment   as   a  nation. 


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AND   BABYLON.  37 

Though  the  ratdonalism  of  our  days  has  led 
some  of  the  Jews  even  to  douht  this  separate 
existence  of  the  ten  tribes,  yet  against  a  single 
line  of  the  Talmud  to  that  effect  is  arrayed 
the  whole  testimony  of  Josephus,  and  the 
enduring  tradition  constantly  handed  down 
among  themselves.  This  tradition,  founded 
upon  the  prophecy  of  Ezekiel  (xxxvii.),  which 
foretels  the  reunion  of  the  twelve  tribes,  even 
fixes  the  abode  of  these  Israelites  in  some  iso- 
lated spot,  in  a  remote  part  of  Asia,  beyond 
the  imaginary  river  Sabbation. 

The  Portuguese  Jewish  Rabbi,  Menasseh 
ben  Israel,  in  his  "  Hope  of  Israel,"  written  in 
1650,  was  of  the  same  opinion  as  the  cele* 
brated  Spanish  traveller,  Antonio  de  Monte- 
sino  (also  a  Jew)^  that  a  part  of  the  ten  tribes 
was  to  be  met  with  among  the  Indians  of 
North  America.  In  our  days,  the  well-known 
missionary  and  preacher,  Joseph  Wolff,  thinks 
he  has  met  with  this  remn^t  among  the 
handsome  and  warlike  tribes  of  Affghanistan 
and  Great  Bucharia.  No  researches,  how- 
ever, have  had  more  successful  results  than 
those  of  the  American  missionary,  Dr.  Grant, 
in  his  travels  in  the  year  1834.  According  to 
his  observations,  the  Nestorians,  inhabiting 
the  inaccessible  mountains  of  Kurdistan  (the 


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38  THE   BABYLONIAN    CAPTIYITT. 

ancient  Assyria),  are,  in  their  religion,  the 
same  as  the  Nestorian  Christians  mentioned 
in  the  history  of  the  Church,  but  by  descent 
no  other  than  Israelites  of  the  ten  tribes  car* 
ried  into  Assyria  720  years  before  the  birth 
of  Christ  Their  customs,  their  ceremonies, 
their  countenances,  and  their  names,  at  once 
show  that  these  Nestorian  mountaineers  belong 
to  the  Israelitish  family,  while  the  country, 
by  its  identity  with  the  Assyria  of  the  Bible, 
{^ves  presumptive  evidence  of  their  being  the 
colony  formed  by  Shalmanezer. 

The  captivity  of  the  two  tribes  at  Babylon 
forms  a  remarkable  epoch,  productive  of  strik- 
ing  consequences  in  the  history  of  the  people. 
For  this  reason,  the  genealogy  of  Christ,  in 
the  Gospel  of  St.  Matthew,  is  interrupted  by 
the  notice  of  this  event.  (Matt.  i.  11,  12.) 
Ftom  that  time,  a  sensible  and  decided  change 
took  place,  both  in  the  moral  and  political 
position  of  the  Jewish  people.  Idolatry,  the 
besetting  sin  of  past  generations,  had  perished; 
and  their  outward  character  was,  in  many 
respects,  improved. 

It  was  in  Babylon  that  the  peculiar  relation 
first  subsisted  between  the  Jews  and  the  people 
of  the  land  of  their  exile,  which  has  continued 
unchanged  through  the  whole  of  their  dis- 


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THE   BABYLONIAN    CAPTIVITY.  39 

persion,  enabling  them  to  accommodate 
themselves  to  a  residence  among  strangers, 
and  adopt  their  names  and  habits  without 
ceasing  to  be  Jews.  The  nobles  of  Judah 
became,  by  degrees,  reconciled  to  their  resi* 
dence  in  the  Boyal  City  of  Babylon.  The 
Chaldee  of  their  captivity  mingled  itself  with 
their  patriarchal  Hebrew,  and  this  memorial 
of  their  long  and  interesting  abode  in  the 
country  remains  in  their  Liturgies  to  the 
present  day.  In  the  Prophet  Daniel,  there  is 
a  mixture  of  the  Chaldee  element,  both  in  his 
historico-prophetic  writings,  and  in  the  varied 
course  of  his  whole  life.  He,  as  well  as  three 
other  young  men  of  princely  birth  in  Judea, 
Hananiah,  Mishael,  and  Azariah,  were  reck- 
oned among  the  rulers  and  sages  of  the  King 
of  Babylon.  They  all  four  bore,  besides  their 
Jewish  name,  a  Babylonian  surname.  So  in  the 
same  manner  we  find  afterwards  Jews  bearing 
the  Greel^  names  of  Philip  and  Alexander, 
and  the  Roman  names  of  Mark,  Paul,  and 
flavins ;  and  subsequently,  in  Spain  and  Por- 
tugal, joining  their  Oriental  appellation  to  the 
surname  of  a  Spanish  or  Portuguese  family. 
Daniel,  called  at  Babylon  Belteshazzar,  gave 
glory  to  the  God  of  Israel,  by  confessing  him 
to  be  the  only  and  true  God,  in  the  midst  of 


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40  THE   JEWS   IN   BABYLON. 

the  idolatrous  city,  and  before  all  his  enemies. 
By  turns  persecuted  and  raised  to  the  highest 
honours,  he  was  more  than  once  Prime  Minis- 
ter of  the  State,  and  at  the  same  time  the 
chosen  prophet  of  God,  His  prophecies, 
written  while  he  held  so  striking  a  position 
with  regard  to  the  Israelites  and  the  Gentiles, 
bear  that  original  and  universally  historical 
character  which  distinguishes,  in  particular, 
the  visions  of  the  four  great  monarchies 
(chapters  iL  and  viii.),  and  can  only  be  com- 
pared to  its  strongly-marked  parallel  in  the 
New  Testament,  the  Eevelation  of  St.  John. 

Jewish  tradition  informs  us,  that  it  was, 
with  few  exceptions,  the  less  noble  families 
who  took  advantage  of  the  edict  of  Cyrus,  and 
listened  to  the  voice  of  ZerubbabeL  Accord- 
ingly, we  find  that  the  Jewish  population,  who 
continued  at  Babylon,  soon  became  numerous, 
flourishing,  and  of  some  importimce  in  the 
country.  Colonies  from  Babylon,  if  we  may 
believe  the  traditions  of  the  Spaniards  and 
Jews,  settled  upon  the  shores  of  Hesperia,  and 
founded  there  cities,  of  whose  names  the 
Hebrew  origin  may  still  be  traced,  as  Toledo, 
Escalonia,  Maqueda,  &c.  It  is  certain,  that 
in  later  times  the  celebrated  Rabbinical  schools 
of  Spain  descended  from,    and  became  the 


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CTBUS. — THE    JEWS   IN   PERSIA.  41 

successors  of,  those  at  Babylon.  After  the 
destruction  of  Jerusalem  by  the  Bomans,  the 
patriarch,  or  prince  of  the  captivity  at  Babylon, 
was  considered  of  higher  rank,  and  held  in 
more  esteem  by  the  dispersed  people,  than  he 
who  held  the  same  office  in  Palestine;  and 
finally,  the  Talmud  which  is  called  Babylonian 
is  both  more  considerable,  and  in  higher  repute 
among  the  Jewish  theologians,  than  the  Tal- 
mud of  Jerusalem. 

At  all  times,  the  Jews  have  met  with  more 
favour  from  kings  than  from  their  subjects. 
On  their  side  they  have,  during  the  whole  of 
their  captivity,  shown  themselves  faithful  to 
the  ruling  power,  and  generally  prepossessed 
in  favour  of  a  monarchical  form  of  Govern- 
ment. 

Cyrus  appears  at  the  head  of  the  great 
kings  and  conquerors  who  have  shown  peculiar 
favour  to  the  Jewish  people.  He  was  spoken 
of  by  name,  and  commended  by  the  prophet, 
as  the  chosen  instrument  of  their  deliverance 
from  the  Babylonian  captivity.  (Isa.  xlv.  1 ; 
£sd.  i.)  A  Persian  tradition  even  says,  that 
he  was  the  son  of  a  Jewess.  Under  his 
auspices,  the  temple  of  Jerusalem  was  rebuilt 
by  Zerubbabel  (called  at  Babylon  Shesbazzar), 
the  son  of  Salathiel,  of  the  Royal  family  of 


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42  THE   JEWS   AND   PERSIANS. 

David.  The  great  amount  of  the  Jewish 
population  in  the  Persian  dominions,  and  the 
power  they  possessed,  is  clearly  shown  in  the 
Book  of  Esther,  when,  hy  the  peculiar  custom 
of  the  Medes  and  Persians,  the  King,  being 
unable  to  revoke  the  decree  he  had  once 
made,  sent  letters,  "  and  granted  to  the  Jews 
which  were  in  every  city  to  gather  themselves 
together,  and  to  stand  for  their  life,  to  destroy^ 
to  slay,  and  to  cause  to  perish,  all  the  power 
of  the  people  and  provinces  that  would  assault 
them,  both  little  ones  and  women,  and  to  take 
the  spoil  of  them  for  a  prey,"  (Esther  viii.  2.) 
Mordecai  soon  after  became  Prime  Minister  of 
the  same  King,  Ahasuerus  (probably  the  Xerxes 
of  Grecian  history),  as  Daniel  had  been  before 
him,  at  Babylon.  Under  Artaxerxes,  the  son 
and  successor  of  Xerxes,  the  office  of  cup- 
bearer to  the  King  was  filled  by  Nehemiah, 
whose  heart  was  so  deeply  affected  towards 
the  city  of  the  sepulchre  of  his  fathers,  while 
he  was  performing  the  duties  of  his  office 
before  the  King  and  Queen.  (Neh.  ii.  17.) 
This  Artaxerxes,  according  to  Oriental  tradi- 
tion, was  also  of  Jewish  birth  by  the  mother's 
side. 

The  mutual  influence  exercised  upon  one 
another  by  the  two  nations,  may  be  noticed  in 


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THE   JEWS,    ETa  43 

sacceeding  ages.  It  is  more  than  probable 
that  the  books,  or  at  least  the  reminiscences  of 
Daniel,  were  known  to  Zoroaster,  as  we  find 
in  the  Persian  religion  mnch  that  is  spiritual, 
and  little  of  the  idolatry  prevalent  among  the 
nations  of  antiquity.  On  the  other  hand,  we 
may  observe,  that,  after  the  residence  of  the 
Jews  in  Persia,  Persian  words  were  introduced 
into  the  language,  and  Persian  names  used  to 
designate  Jewish  offices. 

The  appearance  of  Alexander  the  Great,  as 
conqueror  and  ruler  of  the  world,  made  a 
marked  impression  upon  the  destiny  of  the 
Jewish  people,  by  bringing  them  in  contact 
with  the  most  highly  civilized  nations  of  an* 
tiquity. 

To  call  Alexander  great  as  a  conqueror 
only,  is  not  to  do  him  justice ;  he  deserves  this 
title  of  distinction  among  the  princes  of  an- 
tiquity in  a  fiir  higher  sense  of  the  word.  His 
ambition,  and  even  his  excesses,  must  not 
blind  the  eyes  of  the  impartial  historian  to  the 
glorious  ideas  he  had  formed,  of  which  his 
actions  and  projects  testify,  for  the  peace,  the 
welfare,  and  the  civilization  of  the  world.  To 
bring  the  whole  of  Asia  into  subjection,  not  to 
the  arras  only,  but  to  the  civilization  of  the 
Greeks,  was  an  idea  worthy  of  a  conqueror, 


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44  THE  JEWS   tJMSEB 

the  disciple  of  Aristotle,  the  admirer  of  Homer 
and  Pindar,  the  friend  and  protector  of  Apel- 
les;  whose  powerful  genius  and  enlightened 
observation  could  at  once  admire  and  adopt  all 
that  was  great  and  beautiful  No  one  can 
fail  to  see  the  greatness  and  human  wisdom  of 
the  project  he  formed,  in  fixing  upon  Babylon 
for  the  metropolis  of  the  Grecian  monarchy, 
and  founding  the  city  of  Alexandria,  between 
the  Nile  and  the  Mediterranean,  in  the  place 
of  Tyre,  which  he  had  overthrown.  But  this 
height  of  worldly  greatness  was  destined  to 
fall  before  reaching  its  complete  elevation. 
The  hero  and  prince  had  raised  himself  as  a 
god,  and  he  died  from  excesses  which  sank 
him  below  the  brute.  His  great  projects  were 
left  unfinished,  and  yet  made  serviceable  to 
those  designs  of  God's  providence  for  which 
his  whole  career  had  laid  the  foundation. 
We  need  not,  then,  be  surprised  to  find  this 
period  of  the  world's  history  prove  eventful  to 
the  Jewish  people.  The  Jews  in  Palestine 
found  favour  with  Alexander,  not  only  on 
account  of  their  inviolable  fidelity  to  Darius 
Codomanus,  the  last  Persian  King,  but  also 
because  he  knew  the  service  they  might  render 
to  his  monarchy  by  carrying  out  his  plans  in 
all  the  countries  where  they  were  settled. 


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THE   GRECIAN   MONARCHY.  45 

From  the  time  of  Alexander,  a  new  era 
began  in  the  history  of  the  world  in  general, 
and  of  the  Jews  in  particular.  The  latter 
became  acquainted  with  the  language,  litera- 
ture,  and  philosophy  of  the  Greeks ;  while,  on 
the  other  hand,  the  influence  of  their  religion 
and  principles  was  felt  in  the  Grecian  and 
Boman  world.  The  Jews  began  to  divide 
themselves  into  Hebrews  and  Hellenists ;  they 
multiplied  synagogues  in  all  parts  of  the  world, 
and  a  Greek  translation,  called  the  Septuagint, 
was  made  of  their  sacred  books.  Thus,  in 
three  different  ways,  was  preparation  made  for 
the  diffusion  of  that  Gospel  which  should  come 
from  the  Jews.  A  single  glance  into  Bible 
History  suffices  to  show  that  these  synagogues 
became,  under  Divine  providence,  the  means 
by  which  a  knowledge  of  the  only  true  God 
was  spread  in  some  degree  among  the  nations. 
From  thence,  also, 'did  the  apostles  (especially 
the  apostle  of  the  Gentiles)  declare  among 
many  nations  the  Gospel  of  Jesus  Christ 
Acts  ix.  20;  xiii.  5—14;  xiv.  1—10,  17; 
xviii.  4 — 19 ;  xix.  8. 

At  the  time  of  the  birth  of  Christ  and  the 
setting  forth  of  the  Gospel,  Greek  was  the 
universal  language,  and,  therefore,  the  means 
best  fitted  to  convey  the  message  and  doctrines 


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46    THE  JEWS  IN  MACEDONIAN  EGYPT. 

of  salvation  to  both  Jew  and  Gentile,  Greek 
and  barbarian.  Thus  the  revealed  will  of 
God,  hitherto  only  expressed  in  Hebrew,  was 
at  the  new  dispensation  written  in  Greek, 
the  "  new  wine  was  put  into  new  bottles."  The 
language  had  been  for  centuries  in  a  process  of 
formation,  while  men  of  the  greatest  genius, 
talent,  and  discrimination,  had  gradually 
brought  it  to  express  with  the  greatest 
accuracy  the  thoughts  and  ideas  of  men.  But 
the  beautiful  Greek  language  was  destined  to 
undergo  a  yet  further  preparation  before  it 
could  express  the  fulness  of  Divine  thought, 
and  convey  the  richness  of  Divine  revelation. 
It  had  to  be  imbued  and  penetrated  with  the 
spirit  of  the  Hebrew,  before  it  became  the  dialect 
in  which  the  whole  of  the  New  Testament  was 
embodied  ;*  and  this  had  been  accomplished 
in  the  translation  of  the  sacred  writings  of  the 
Jews,  made  by  command  of  Ptolemy  Fhila* 
delphus,  king  of  Egypt,  which  was  known  to, 
and  constancy  quoted  by  the  apostles,  and 

*  Many  learned  men  have  expressed  an  opinion  that  Sc 
Matthew  wrote  his  Gospel  in  Hebrew,  but  I  must  differ 
from  them  for  reasons  which  I  have  fullj  stated  else* 
where.  However  it  may  be,  part  of  those  who  attribute 
to  St.  Matthew  a  Gospel  in  Hebrew,  state  that  he  is  also 
the  author  of  that  which  bears  his  name  in  Greek. 


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THE  JEWS  IN  MACEDONIAN  EGYPT.    47 

which  remains  to  our  days  one  of  the  most 
valuable  aids  for  the  criticism  of  the  Old 
Testament. 

These  events  bring  us  to  a  period  in  the 
Macedonian  empire,  long  after  the  death  of 
Alexander  and  the  division  of  the  monarchy. 
We  find  in  the  kingdom  of  the  Ptolemies  in 
Egypt  and  the  Seleucidse  in  Syria,  much  to 
interest  us,  in  connexion  with  the  people  of 
Israel.  The  first  encounter  of  the  Ptolemies 
with  the  Jewish  people  was  not  a  friendly  one, 
for  the  Jews  remaining  faithful  to  Laomedon  of 
Mitylene,  to  whom  the  countries  of  Syria, 
Phoenicia,  and  Palestine  had  been  allotted, 
resisted  the  victorious  arms  of  Ptolemy  Soter, 
the  son  of  Lagus.  Jerusalem  was  besieged 
and  taken  on  the  Sabbath-day,  the  Jews  having 
interpreted  the  law  in  its  strictest  sense,  and 
refused  to  defend  themselves.  Ptolemy  who 
possessed  great  political  tact,  as  well  as  talent 
for  war,  used  his  victory  with  wisdom  and 
moderation.  He  put  a  stop  to  all  ill-treatment 
of  the  vanquished,  and  taking  some  thousands 
of  the  inhabitants  of  Palestine  into  Egypt,  he 
confirmed  to  them  all  the  privileges  which 
were  before  granted  to  them  at  Alexandria 
by  the  founders  of  that  city ;  he  also  placed 


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48         THE   JEWS   IN   MACEDONIAN   EGYPT. 

many  of   these  new   colonists  in  important 
situations  in  the  army  and  the  governments. 
Under  his  successors,  the  Jews,  except  during 
the  reign  of  Fhilopater,  continued  to  prosper 
and  distinguish  themselves  in  Egypt.     In  the 
reigns  of  Ptolemy  Philometer  and  Cleopatra 
especially,  they  rendered  important  services  in 
the  war,  in  which  the  names  of  Dositheus  and 
Onias  became  illustrious.     That  of  Onias  has 
also  passed  down  to  posterity  in  connexion 
with  the  Jewish  temple  built  by  him  in  the 
country  of   Heliopolis,    in   imitation  of  the 
temple  at  Jerusalem.     This  temple — a  thorn  in 
the  eyes  to  the  Jews  at  Palestine — lasted  but 
little  longer  than  the  temple  at  Jerusalem, 
being  destroyed  by  Vespasian  with  the  city  of 
Onion,  soon  after  the  catastrophe  of  the  latter. 
The  distmguishing  characteristic  of  the  Jews 
in  Egypt,  under  the  dominion  of  the  Ptolemies, 
was  their  acquaintance  with  Grecian  civilization, 
literature,  and  philosophy.  Many  learned  Jews, 
among  whom  we  may  mention  Philo,  devoted 
themselves  to  the  exclusive  study  of  Greek 
literature,   and  communicating   through  that 
language  to  the  Gentiles  the  Mosaic  history 
and  Jewish  traditions,  became  rather  Greeks 
than  Jews.    Among  these  Egyptian  Jews  the 


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rHE   JEWS   IN   ALEXANDRIA.  49 

use  of  their  national  Hebrew  was  by  degrees 
laid  aside,  and  the  Septuagint  version  substi- 
tuted for  their  original  Scriptures. 

The  privileges  granted  to  the  Jews  by 
Alexander,  and  his  successors  the  Ptolemies, 
were  afterwards  confirmed  by  Julius  Cssar, 
in  recompense  for  the  great  services  rendered 
him  by  the  Jews  of  Palestine  under  Antipater, 
the  &ther  of  Herod,  and  by  those  of  Onion  in 
Egypt.  Even  after  his  time,  the  Jews  con- 
tinued prosperous  at  Alexandria,  both  in  their 
commercial  and  political  relations,  and  the  fall 
of  Jerusalem  made  but  little  change  in  their 
situation.  We  find  under  the  first  Christian 
emperors,  that  a  great  number  of  Jews  were 
living  at  Alexandria,  and  often  joining  in  the 
disputes  between  the  Church  and  the  Arians. 
When  the  city  was  taken  by  the  Saracens, 
about  the  middle  of  the  seventh  century,  the 
conquerors  found  nearly  40,000  Jews  settled 
there  and  prospering.  From  that  time  the 
history  of  the  Jews  of  Alexandria  merges  into 
that  of  the  Arabians ;  they  had  survived  even 
the  Boman  Empire ! 

We  have  found  the  Jews  under  the  third 
monarchy,  that  of  Alexander  and  his  successors, 
mixed  up  in  many  memorable  events  with  the 
kingdoms  of  Egypt  and  Syria.    They  also  in- 


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50  ISRAEL   AND   ROME. 

habited  the  city  of  Rome,  long  before  Vespasian 
led  captive  within  its  walls,  the  sad  remnant 
who  survived  the  destruction  of  their  city  and 
temple.  It  is  most  probable  that  the  Jews 
first  came  to  Rome  and  settled  in  many  parts 
of  Italy,  after  the  victories  of  the  Roman 
republic  in  the  East,  over  Macedonia  and 
Greece,  and  its  wars  in  Syria,  when  alliance 
was  made  between  Rome  and  Judea,  a  little 
before  the  time  of  the  Maccabees.  It  is 
certain,  that  in  the  time  of  Julius  Csssar  and 
Cicero,  the  Jews  at  Rome  were  both  numerous 
and  influential.  This  great  orator,  when  plead- 
ing for  Flaccus,  makes  mention  of  the  immense 
sums  sent  to  Jerusalem  by  the  Jews  at  Rome, 
for  the  support  and  embellishment  of  the 
temple.  So  much  were  the  Jews  attached  to 
the  person  and  government  of  Julius  Ca^ar, 
that  at  Rome  they  testified  their  horror  of  his 
assassination  by  a  revolt.  We  find  the  Jews 
at  Rome  mingling  with  every  class  of  society, 
as  conjurors,  freed  men,  actors,  and  Roman 
citizens.  Some  think,  that  Aristius  Fuscus,  to 
whom  the  poet  Horace  addressed  an  ode,  and 
whom  he  mentions  in  his  letters  and  satires  as 
an  intimate  fiiend,  was  a  Roman  Jew.  Under 
the  Emperor  Augustus,  ample  privileges  were 
granted  to  the  Jews  who  lived  at  Rome,  and  full 


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ISRAEL   AND   ROME.  51 

liberty  given  them  to  build  synagogues.  These 
"  strangers  of  Rome  "  are  especially  mentioned 
in  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles,  among  the  wit- 
nesses of  the  miracle  on  the  day  of  Pentecost. 
Under  Tiberius  they  were  treated  with  harsh- 
ness, probably  because  of  the  imposition  prac- 
tised by  four  Jews  upon  a  noble  proselyte. 
Under  Caligula  and  Claudius  they  were,  toge- 
ther with  the  Christians,  banished  and  recalled 
by  turns.  We  find  from  Josephus  that  when 
he  visited  Some  for  the  first  time,  in  the  reign 
of  Nero,  he  found  Jews  prospering  and  in 
favour  at  court,  especially  with  Poppea,  the 
emperor's  wife,  who  seems  to  have  been  in 
some  degree  a  proselyte. 

The  last  period  of  the  history  of  the 
Jews  in  their  own  country  extends  over 
600  years  (from  630  a.c,  to  70  a.d.),  during 
which  stood  the  second  temple,  built  by 
Zerubbabel,  and  enlarged  and  embellished 
by  Herod.  We  have  noticed  that  a  change 
took  place  in  the  whole  state  of  religion  and 
politics  among  the  Jews,  on  their  return  from 
the  Babylonian  captivity.  Their  outward 
character  was  improved,  but  tradition  had 
sprung  up  by  the  side  of  truth,  and  nearly 
overpowered  it;  a  knowledge  of  the  Jewish 
religion  had  spread  abrotid,  while  the  spirit  of 
D  2 


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52  THE   JEWS   IN   PALESTINE  AT  THE 

heathen  philosophy  mixed  itself  in  a  degree 
even  with  sacred  things.  The  temple  was 
rebuilt ;  but,  as  if  in  rivalry  of  the  sanctuary,  a 
temple  was  raised  by  the  Samaritans  on  Mount 
Gerizim,  and  another  in  Egypt  by  the  Helle- 
nist Jews.  The  entire  change  in  the  form  of 
government  is  not  less  worthy  of  notice ;  mon- 
archy had  disappeared,  and  the  house  of  David 
no  longer  occupied  the  highest  rank,  after 
Zerubbabel  (a  scion  of  that  house)  had  estab- 
lished  a  republican  form  of  government.  An 
aristocracy,  generally  under  the  power  of  the 
high  priesthood,  took  the  place  of  monarchy. 
In  subsequent  years,  except  during  the  time 
of  the  Maccabees,  the  republic  of  Judea  was 
usually  dependent  upon  one  of  the  great 
powers  which  succeeded  the  Babylonian  em- 
pire. Under  the  Persian  monarchy,  from  the 
days  of  Nehemiah,  the  Jews  suffered  neither 
oppression  nor  exaction,  and  if  in  later  times 
they  were  treated  with  greater  harshness,  it 
was  occasioned 'by  their  own  feuds  and  dis- 
putes for  the  priesthood.  We  have  before 
mentioned  the  fidelity  of  the  Jews  to  Darius 
Codomanus,  on  account  of  which  they  refused 
to  supply  Alexander's  army  with  provisions 
while  carrying  on  the  siege  of  Tyre.  The 
powerful  monarch  determined  to  chastise  them 


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TIME  OF  THE   SECOND   TElfPLE.  53 

as  soon  as  the  capital  of  Phcenicia  was  taken ; 
but  he  gave  up  the  project,  and  loaded  the 
Jews  with  fevours,  in  consequence  of  having 
seen  in  a  dream  the  high  priest,  who  really 
went  out  to  meet  him  and  to  deprecate  his 
wrath.  These  circumstances  are  related  in 
Josephus's  history.  The  same  author  gives  us 
an  account  of  some  Jewish  soldiers  in  Alex- 
ander's army,  who  refused  their  assistance  in 
removing  the  remains  of  an  idol  temple  at 
Babylon,  and  the  clemency  showed  by  the 
king  towards  them.  After  the  death  of  Alex- 
ander (323  A.c.)  and  the  division  of  his  empire, 
Palestine  and  Syria  remained  for  nearly  a  cen- 
tury subject  to  the  Egyptian  monarchy.  In 
the  year  202  A.c.  the  Jews  became  subjects 
of  Antiochus  the  Great,  whose  rule  at  first 
seemed  preferable  to  that  of  Ptolemy  Philo- 
pater;  but  the  sceptre  of  Syria  began  to  weigh 
heavily  on  Judea,  when  swayed  by  Antiochus 
Epiphanes,  sumamed  Epimanes  on  account  of 
his  cruelty,  the  son  of  Antiochus  the  Great. 
Before  this  intervention  of  the  king  of  Syria, 
a  decidedly  Grecian  party  was  formed  in 
Judea,  at  the  head  of  which  Joshua,  the 
brother  of  the  high  priest,  had  placed  himself, 
and  with  its  assistance  he  easily  obtained  his 
brother's  dignity;    but  Menelaus,  a  younger 


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54  THE   JEWS    IN    PALESTINE   AT  THE 

brother,  soon  revolted  against  Joshua,  who 
had  taken  the  Greek  name  of  Jason.  The 
two,  while  separately  striving  to  obtain  their 
elder  brother's  office,  were  acting  on  the  same 
principle,  and  animated  by  the  same  desire,  of 
establishing  Gentile  customs  among  the  Jews. 
The  very  same  year  (172  a.c.)  the  Jewish 
Sanhedrim  was  established  at  Jerusalem.  By 
these  constant  feuds  the  Jewish  people  brought 
upon  themselves  cruel  oppression  and  persecu- 
tion. Antiochus,  on  his  return  from  a  war  in 
Egypt,  took  the  part  of  Menelaus,  marched 
with  him  at  once  to  Jerusalem,  took  the  city, 
and  gave  it  up  to  carnage  and  rapine  (this 
was  but  a  beginning  of  the  barbarities  he 
afterwards  inflicted).  He  profaned  the  temple, 
stripped  it  of  its  treasures,  and  then  dedicated 
it  to  Jupiter  Olympus,  leaving  a  Phrygian, 
named  Philip,  governor  of  the  country.  He 
forbade  the  observance  of  sabbaths  and  feasts, 
and  the  rite  of  circumcision,  and  compelled 
the  people  to  defile  themselves  by  eating  pork. 
Jerusalem  was  in  his  days  made  desolate,  and 
the  caves  of  the  surrounding  mountains  filled 
with  fugitives. 

In  the  midst  of  this  night  of  darkness  and 
gloom,  the  God  of  their  fathers  again  rekindled 
the  light  of  Israel.     At  Modin,  in  the  western 


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TIMB   OF   THE   SEOOND   TEMPLE.  55 

part  of  Judea,  an  aged  priestt  named  Matta- 
thias,  of  Jozareb,  rose  like  a  second  Fhinehas, 
supported  by  his  five  heroic  sons,  Simon,  Jona- 
than, Judah,  Eleazer,  and  John.  Mattathias 
gave  the  signal,  by  killing  a  Jew  in  the  act  of 
offering  sacrifice  to  an  idol  (a.c.  168);  and 
soon,  throughout  all  Jndea,  under  his  com- 
mand and  that  of  his  sons,  a  guerilla  warfare 
began  with  the  Syrian  forces.  On  the  death 
of  the  heroic  fitther,  his  son  Judas  (the  Macca- 
bee),  the  third  in  age,  but  the  first  of  his  sons 
in  valour  and  talent,  took  the  command. 
With  a  very  small  army  he  performed  great 
exploits,  and  gained  a  succession  of  victories, 
which  brought  by  degrees  the  different  towns 
and  fortresses  into  his  possession.  The  Syrians 
were  many  times  defeated,  with  immense  loss, 
and  Jerusalem  at  length  regained.  In  the 
year  165  a.c.  the  Temple  was  purified,  and 
dedicated  afresh  with  great  pomp.  The  Feast 
of  Dedication,  or  Feast  of  Lights,  is  kept  by 
the  Jews  to  this  day,  in  remembrance  of  the 
event.  (St.  John  x.  22.)  The  warlike  career  of 
the  noble  Maccabee  was  again  crowned  with 
success,  when  he  turned  his  victorious  arms 
against  the  Edomites,  the  Ammonites,  and 
the  Gileadites.  After  some  less  successful 
struggles,  in  which  he  was  opposed  by  the 


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56  JUDEA   UNDER  THE   MACCABEES. 

king  of  Syria  in  person,  the  dty  of  Jerusalem 
was  declared,  by  a  treaty  of  capitulation,  a 
dependency  of  Syria.  Not  long  after  this 
event,  the  brave  Maccabee  ended  his  career 
by  a  glorious  death;  being  attacked  by  the 
Syrians  under  Bacchides,  with  an  army  of 
2,200  men.  He  resisted  this  force  with  only 
800  followers,  and  fell  in  a  desperate  battle 
between  Lachish  and  Ashdod  (the  Thermopylae 
of  Judah).  His  youngest  brother,  Jonathan, 
the  next  in  valour,  succeeded  him,  and  carried 
on,  for  five  memorable  years,  the  work  of 
Judea's  deliverance.  Under  Simon,  the  eldest, 
who  succeeded  his  younger  brothers,  the  inde* 
pendence  of  the  Jewish  state  was  established, 
and  the  supreme  authority,  with  the  office  of 
high  priest,  vested  in  the  family  of  the  Asmo- 
neans.  Simon,  as  well  as  his  brother 
Jonathan,  perished  by  the  treachery  of  his 
enemies;  he  was  succeeded  by  his  son  John 
Hyrcanus,  who  showed  himself  by  his  virtue, 
talent,  and  valour,  a  worthy  scion  of  the  Mac- 
cabees. He  continued  the  work  his  father 
had  begun,  and  subjected  the  Edomites,  who 
from  that  time  became  participators  of  the 
religion  and  institutions  of  the  Jews. 

In  the  latter  part  of  the  reign  of  Hyrcanus 
the  Great,  an  important  change  took  place,  in 


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JUDEA  UNDER  THE  MACCABEES.     57 

the  connexion  between  the  reigning  power  and 
the  two  great  religious  sects  of  Judea.  This 
prince  separated  himself  entirely  from  the 
Pharisees,  on  account  of  an  insult  which  they 
offered  to  him  in  public ;  and  both  he  and  his 
sons,  Aristobulus  and  Alexander  Janneus,  suc- 
cessively ranged  themselves  on  the  side  of  the 
Pharisees.  The  reign  of  Aristobulus  was  short, 
and  offers  nothing  worthy  of  note ;  the  domi- 
nion of  his  brother  Alexander  Janneus,  which 
continued  twenty-seven  years,  was  marked  by 
disturbance  and  cruelty.  At  his  death  he 
desired  his  Queen  Alexandra  to  effect  a  recon- 
ciliation with  the  Pharisees,  for  the  sake  of 
his  sons.  From  that  time  the  two  religious 
sects  again  sided  with  political  parties,  the 
Pharisees  taking  the  part  of  Hyrcanus  II.,  the 
Sadducees  that  of  Aristobulus  II.,  his  younger 
but  more  valiant  brother.  These  intestine 
divisions  hastened  the  down£Bdl  of  the  Asmo- 
nean  dynasty,  and  brought  the  Jewish  state, 
first  under  the  influence,  and  then  under  the 
rule,  of  the  Herods. 

The  Jews,  under  Judas  Maccabeus,  had 
sent  ambassadors  and  made  alliance  with  the 
Bomans  against  the  king  of  Syria,  in  the  year 
161  A.c.  This  treaty  was  confirmed  in  the 
time  of  his  brother  Simon,  and  contained  the 
d3 


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58  THE   J£W8   AMD   BOMAN8. 

following  artides: — The  condition  of  matoal 
assistance  in  war;  a  prohibition  to  the  sur- 
rounding nations  to  supply  the  enemies  of 
Judea  with  com;  and  an  enrolment  of  the 
Jews  as  friends  and  allies  of  the  Roman 
people,  by  a  decree  of  the  Senate  written  upon 
brass. 

Thus  a  friendly  relation  subsisted  for  many 
years,  the  Romans  never  interfering  in  the 
affidrs  of  Judea,  till  Aristobulus  II.  called  in 
the  aid  of  Fompey  against  Hyrcanus  II.,  who, 
with  an  army  of  Arabs,  was  approaching  the 
walls  of  Jerusalem.  Aristobulus  tried  to  gain 
the  favour  of  Fompey,  after  his  deliverance 
from  this  danger,  by  sending  him  presents  (in 
particular  the  golden  vine),  and  by  agreeing 
with  his  rival  to  submit  to  the  tribunal  of  Rome 
the  decision  between  their  respective  claims. 
Without  waiting  for,  or  regarding  this  deci- 
sion, however,  he  assumed  the  tide  of  king, 
and  thus  brought  upon  himself  the  wrath  of 
Fompey,  who  immediately  marched  against 
Jerusalem,  and  by  a  concurrence  of  adverse 
circumstances,  succeeded  with  much  difficulty 
in  making  himself  master  of  the  city.  He 
spared  the  treasures  laid  up  in  the  temple, 
but  entered  the  Holy  of  Holies.  This  first 
conquest  of  the  city  and  temple  of  Jerusalem 


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ISRAEL  AND   ROME.  59 

by  the  Komans  took  place,  most  likely,  in  the 
same  year  that  Amia,  the  daughter  of  Phanuel, 
entered  that  temple  to  worship,  day  and  night, 
for  sixty-three  years,  until  she  saw  in  the 
arms  of  Simeon  the  child  bom  at  Bethlehem, 
and  confessed  him  to  be  the  Lord.  (Luke  iv. 
36,  38.)  The  dominion  of  Judea  thus  fell  to 
the  share  of  Hyrcanus  IL,  or  rather  to  Anti- 
pater  the  Edomite,  who  ruled  in  the  name  of 
the  feeble  Asmonean  prince.  A  few  years 
after,  in  the  struggle  that  took  place  between 
Fompey  and  Ceesar  for  the  possession  of  Rome 
and  the  whole  world,  Antipater  rendered 
many  services  to  the  latter..  He  assisted 
Caesar  in  Egypt,  both  by  the  influence  which 
he  exerdsed  in  his  favour  with  the  Jews  of 
Onion,  and  also  by  succouring  him  with  a 
body  of  Israelitish  troops,  who  rendered  great 
service  in  the  siege  and  taking  of  Felusium. 
Cffisar  showed  his  gratitude  by  privileges  con- 
ferred on  the  Jews  in  Egypt,  which  were 
publicly  proclaimed  at  Alexandria ;  by  rebuild- 
ing the  fortifications  of  Jerusalem;  and  by 
confirming  the  crown  to  Hyrcanus  IL,  under 
the  tutelage  of  Antipater. 

From  that  time,  a  friendly  relation  was  kept 
up  with  Borne  under  Caesar,  Anthony,  and 
Octavius,    while  Jerusalem    was  under    the- 


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60  ISRAEL  AND   ROME. 

dominion  of  Antipater  and  his  sons,  Herod  and 
Phasael.  Anthony  raised  the  two  latter,  by  a 
decree,  to  the  rank  of  tetrarchs  of  Judea,  and 
thus  the  foundation  of  the  Asmonean  mon- 
archy was  undermined.  Antigonus,  the 
younger  son  of  Aristobulus,  (who  with  his 
eldest  son  Alexander  had  already  fallen  in 
tiieir  efforts  to  regain  the  throne,)  sought 
assistance  from  the  Parthians,  who  had  long 
been  enemies  of  Rome.  Facorus  with  his  army 
marched  to  Jerusalem,  and  made  Hyrcanus  II. 
and  Phasael  prisoners.  Phasael  committed 
suicide  in  prison,  and  Hyrcanus  had  his  ears 
cut  off,  to  disable  him  from  again  claiming 
the  high  priesthood  and  royal  power.  Herod 
escaped  to  Rome,  and  was  there  proclaimed  by 
a  decree  of  the  senate,  passed  before  Octayius 
and  Anthony,  king  of  Judea.  The  Asmonean 
family  were  set  aside,  and  Antigonus  declared 
an  enemy  of  the  Romans.  When  the  Parthians 
were  defeated,  he  was  taken  and  crucified. 
After  much  bloodshed,  Herod  obtained  posses- 
sion of  Jerusalem,  and  his  title  to  the  throne 
was  confirmed  by  Octavius  after  the  battle  of 
Actium.  Thus,  the  grandson  of  an  Idumean 
idolater  obtained  the  throne  of  the  Asmoneans, 
and  reigned  in  the  city  of  David  over  his 
house  and  kingdom.    Herod  the  Great  reigned 


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THE   JEWS   AT   OUR   SAYIOUR's   BIRTH.      61 

for  nearly  forty  years  over  the  Jewish  people ; 
his  goyemment  afforded  some  instances  of 
greatness  of  mind  employed  for  the  good  of 
his  subjects,  but  it  was  sullied  by  a  corrupt 
form  of  worship,  which  mingled  reverence  for 
the  gods  and  demigods  of  the  heathen  with 
the  service  of  Jehovah,  and  by  a  series  of 
murders  committed  on  the  remaining  members 
of  the  Asmonean  femily.  He  slew  the  high 
priest  Aristobulus,  his  brother-in-law,  Hyrca- 
nus  II.,  his  grandfather,  his  wife  Mariamne, 
and  two  of  his  sons,  and  massacred  all  the 
children  of  Bethlehem,  with  the  intention  of 
putting  to  death  the  new-bom  King  of  the 
Jews.  • 

It  is  written^  '^  The  sceptre  shall  not  depart 
from  Judah,  nor  a  lawgiver  from  between  his 

*   GENBALOOT  OF  THE  FAMILY  OF  THB  MACCABEES,  OB 
A8MONEAN8. 

MafttatblM,  ion  of  John,  grvadioo  of  AimoDiai. 

n i — I — I — r^ 

Jdan.   Jouthan.   Jous,    SlmoD.   Btouar. 


John  HyreaniM  the  Greftt. 


HyreaniM 


r — I ' 1 — ^ 

'  Hjrmniu  II.  AriMobaln  II. 


I  ( 1 1 ) 

Alozandn,  maniod  to       Alexander.         Aotlgonui. 

I 


r 


II. 


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62      THE  JEWS  AND  THE  ROMANS 

feet,  until  Shiloli  com«,  and  to  him  shall  the 
gathering  of  the  people  be."  (Gen.  xlix.  10.) 
And  it  was  so,  when  in  accordance  with  the 
Word  of  God  by  his  prophets,  the  promised 
Messiah  was  born  at  Bethlehem.  Judea, 
though  not  independent,  was  still  in  existence 
as  a  kingdom:  there  was  still  in  Judah  a 
sceptre  and  a  lawgiver.  A  few  years  after 
the  birth  of  the  Shiloh,  Judea  became  a 
Boman  province,  without  government  or 
jurisdiction  of  its  own.  When  "  the  Saviour, 
who  is  Christ  the  Lord,"  was  born  in  Bethle- 
hem of  Judea,  the  whole  civilised  world  spoke 
one  language — that  of  Greece,  and  acknow- 
ledged one  dominion — that  of  Rome.  The 
Emperor  Augustus,  after  ages  of  warfare  and 
struggle,  reigned  in  peace  at  Bome  over  the 
whole  world,  the  fourth  monarchy  foretold  by 
Daniel  was  at  the  height  of  its  greatness. 
Bome,  with  her  million  and  a  half  of  citizens, 
extended  her  sway  from  the  Atlantic  to  the 
Euphrates,  from  the  desert  of  Africa  to  the 
banks  of  the  Rhine,  ruling  over  120,000,000 
of  men,  and  100,000  square  miles,  the  bound- 
aries of  all  her  provinces  being  brought  to 
centre  in  a  pillar  in  the  midst  of  the  imperial 
city. 

The  birth  of  the  Messiah  at  Bethlehem, 


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AT   THE   TIME   OF   QUE   SAYIOUE.  63 

the  City  of  David,  according  to  the  word 
of  the  prophet,  was  closely  connected  in  its 
accomplishment  with  the  extension  of  the 
Roman  dominion  over  the  whole  world.  ^  And 
it  came  to  pass  in  those  days,  that  there  went 
out  a  decree  from  Cffisar  Augustas,  that  all 
the  world  should  he  taxed.  And  all  went  to 
be  taxed,  every  one  into  his  own  city.  And 
Joseph  also  went  up  from  Galilee,  out  of  the 
city  of  Nazareth,  into  Judea,  unto  the  city  of 
David,  which  is  called  Bethlehem ;  (because 
he  was  of  the  house  and  lineage  of  David : )  to 
be  taxed  with  Mary  his  espoused  wife,  being 
great  with  child.  And  so  it  was,  that,  while 
they  were  there,  the  days  were  accomplished 
that  she  should  be  delivered.  And  she  brought 
forth  her  firstborn  son."  (St.  Luke  ii. 
1-7.) 

The  angel  who  announced  his  birth  to  the 
Virgin  of  Nazareth  said,  that  "God  would 
give  him  the  throne  of  his  father  David;" 
that  he  should  "  reign  over  the  house  of  Jacob 
for  ever."  (St.  Luke  i.  32,  33.)  «  Bom  King 
of  the  Jews,"  he  was  saluted  as  such  by  the 
eastern  magi,  and  was  crucified  with  this 
superscription.  It  was  then  "  the  fulness  of 
time,"  when  the  world  was  brought  into  the 
presence  of  its  Creator,  and  Israel  before  his 


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64      THE  JEWS  AND  THE  ROMANS 

King ;  '*  God  was  manifest  in  the  flesh,"  and 
thus  was  made  manifest  also  what  the  world 
was — what  it  had  become  through  sin.  Israel 
filled  up  the  measure  of  their  iniquity  by 
condemning  their  Messiah ;  Borne,  as  repre- 
sentative of  the  Gentile  world,  executed  the 
bloody  sentence.  Jesus  Christ  prayed  for  his 
murderers — for  both  Jew  and  Gentile — who  in 
sinfiil  ignorance  shed  the  blood  that  has  pur- 
chased for  both,  remission  of  sins  by  fidth  in 
his  name.  Yet  he  is  still  "  King  of  the  Jews,** 
and  will  one  day  restore  the  kingdom.  (Acts 
i.  6,  7.)  When  the  judgment  of  Grod  for  the 
rejection  of  Messiah  has  been  poured  out,  and 
his  people  scattered  to  the  furthest  comers  of 
the  earth,  then  will  he  gather  again  the  twelve 
tribes  of  Israel,  and  through  them  dispense 
happiness  to  a  renewed  world,  under  the 
dominion  of  the  one  Shepherd,  the  Lamb  that 
was  slain,  the  Lion  that  hath  conquered.  He 
had  said  to  Jerusalem  and  to  the  Jewish 
people,  "  Ye  would  not  *  receive  me,'  and  now 
behold  your  house  is  left  unto  you  desolate ; " 
and  when,  another  time,  he  drew  near  and 
"  beheld  the  city,  he  wept  over  it,  saying.  If 
thou  hadst  known,  even  thou,  at  least  in  this 
thy  day,  the  things  which  belong  unto  thy 
peace !  but  now  they  are  hid  from  thine  eyes. 


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AT  THE  TIME  OF   OUB   SAVIOUR.  65 

They  shall  lay  thee  even  with  the  ground,  and 
thy  children  within  thee ;  and  they  shall  not 
leave  in  thee  one  stone  upon  another ;  because 
thou  knewest  not  the  time  of  thy  visitation." 
(St.  Luke  xix.  41,  42,  44.)  Yet  with  the 
denunciation,  he  has  given  sure  promise  of 
certain  restoration :  '^  Jerusalem  shall  be  trod- 
den down  of  the  GentHes,  until  the  times  of 
the  Gentiles  be  fulfilled."  (St.  Luke  xxi.  24.) 
The  sentence  of  Jerusalem  was  to  receive  its 
execution  from  Rome.  But  the  fearful  judg- 
ment was  preceded  by  a  period  of  unusual 
peace  and  prosperity,  such  as  the  country  had 
not  enjoyed  since  the  days  of  Solomon.  We 
may  note  this,  as  one  striking  feature  among 
the  many,  that  attract  our  attention,  as  we 
contemplate  the  awM  scene  of  the  ruin  of 
Jerusalem  and  the  Jewish  people.  The  land 
was  at  that  time  in  a  high  state  of  cultivation, 
rich  in  produce  of  all  kinds,  abundantly 
sprinkled  with  towns  and  populous  villages. 
Tacitus  and  Josephus  both  speak  in  high 
terms  of  the  strength,  martial  courage,  and 
contempt  of  death,  which  characterized  its 
people.  This  prosperity,  which  had  much 
increased,  even  during  the  reign  of  Herod  the 
Great,  must  appear  striking  in  its  contrast  on 
the  very  eve  of  the  day  of  destruction.     Our 


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66  JERUSALEM   AND   BOME. 

Saviour's  words  were  not  spoken  in  vain,  when 
he  likened  the  city  to  Sodom  and  Gotnorrah, 
surprised  by  fire  from  heaven  in  the  midst  of 
their  daily  occupations  and  enjoyments;  and 
does  not  his  word  foretel  that  thus  it  will  be 
also  at  the  coming  of  the  Son  of  Man  t 

Before,  however,  the  iron  hand  of  Rome 
might  bring  desolation  upon  Judea  and  Jeru- 
salem, they  were  destined  to  behold  the 
triumphs  of  the  Gospel  of  Christ,  and  the 
sufferings  of  its  martyrs.  Jerusalem  should 
yet  witness  the  pouring  out  of  the  Holy  Spirit 
upon  the  disciples,  the  martyrdom  of  St. 
Stephen,  the  conversion  of  St.  Paul,  the  death  of 
the  two  James's,  and  the  establishment  of  the 
first  Christian  synod  within  its  walls.  When 
the  Gospel  had  "  gone  forth  from  Jerusalem," 
the  day  of  judgment  dawned  upon  the  city 
which  had  slain  the  prophets  and  the  Messiah. 
About  seventy  years  after  the  birth  of  Christ, 
and  his  presentation  in  the  temple,  about  forty 
yeai-s  after  he  had  foretold  its  final  destruction, 
the  typical  law  having  received  at  Golgotha 
its  entire  fulfilment,  and  accomplished  its 
purpose  in  the  kingdom  of  God,  gave  place  to 
the  new  covenant.  In  the  year  68,  the 
apostles  had  most  of  them  finished  their  course, 
St.  Paul  and  St.  Peter  had  suffered  martyrdom. 


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JERUSALEM   AND   ROME*  67 

and  a  violent  persecution  of  the  Christians 
begun  at  Rome,  under  Nero ;  St.  John  alone 
had  survived. 

Judea  became,  after  the  death  of  Herod  the 
Great  and  the  deposition  of  his  son  Archelaus, 
a  Roman  province.  Under  Pontius  Pilate, 
the  clouds  seemed  gathering  for  a  storm  of 
insurrection,  which  was  nearly  breaking  forth 
when  Cal^ula  tried  to  compel  the  Jews  to 
place  his  statue  in  the  temple,  but  his  death 
changed  for  a  time  the  course  of  events  and 
lulled  the  rising  tempest.  Claudius,  the  suc- 
cessor of  Caligula,  annexed  the  government  of 
Judea  to  that  of  Galilee,  and  gave  the  sceptre 
to  Herod  Agrippa,  so  that  the  whole  of 
Palestine  was  once  more  united  under  a 
descendant  of  Herod  the  Great.*  At  Herod 
Agrippa's  death,  Galilee  alone  remained 
under  the  joint  government  of  his  son  Agrippa 
and  Bemice,  while  Judea  fell  completely  into 

*   DeicendanU  of  Aniipater,  the  Bdomlta. 


f      i  i  i    ^ 

PhaBMl.         Herod  the  Ot.         Joe^. 

^ \ \ 1 1 ^ 

Ailitobalus.  ArebeUiu.       Herod  Philip.      Herod  Aatlpai. 
Slain  1>y  Us  (klher.     Matt.  U.  28.       Mark  vi.  17.  Laheix.9. 
I Luke  ilL  1.            xxUl.  7—12. 

^ 1 ^ 

Herod  AgrlpfMu 
Aciizli. 

n 1 i — N 

Agrippa.       Bamlca.       DrualUa. 


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68  JERUSALEM   AND   ROME. 

the  power  of  the  Romans,  and  was  governed 
successively  by  Felix,  Festus,  Cuspius  Fadus, 
and  Gessius  Floras.  It  was  under  the  op- 
pressive rule  of  the  latter,  that  the  insurrection 
began,  which  ended  in  the  destruction  of  the 
Jewish  people. 

(a.d.  66.)  In  Gessius  Floras,  we  have  a  speci- 
men of  the  grasping,  covetous,  and  cruel  Roman 
governor;  he  loaded  the  people  with  taxes, 
and  treated  them  with  contempt.  Their  exas- 
peration first  vented  itself  in  ridicule, — some 
one  went  round  the  city  with  a  bag  or  basket, 
and  begged  for  a  trifle  for  the  poor  governor. 
This  satire  produced  scenes  of  bloodshed,  and 
these  again  were  but  fresh  signals  for  the 
revolt  which  had  long  been  ready  to  break 
out.  Floras  entered  the  city  with  his  soldiers, 
and  reeked  his  vengeance  upon  some  thou- 
sands of  the  inhabitants,  whom  he  massacred 
without  regard  to  age,  sex,  or  condition. 
Even  the  intercession  of  Queen  Bernice,  who 
was  then  visiting  Jerusalem,  was  of  no  avail. 
For  a  moment,  it  appeared  possible  that  a 
reconciliation  might  be  effected  between  the 
contending  parties ;  for,  at  the  solicitation  of 
the  priests  and  elders,  the  Jews  reluctantly 
consented  to  meet  and  salute  the  Roman 
legions  recalled  from  Ceesarea,  as  a  means  of 


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JERUSALEM    AND   ROME.  69 

re-establishing  peace.  A  foreboding  and  dis- 
dainful silence  was,  however,  the  only  answer 
vouchsafed  by  the  Romans  to  their  greeting. 
Then  a  cry  of  indignation  was  raised  by  the 
Jews,  thus  cruelly  provoked.  The  legion  drew 
their  swords,  the  Jews  rose  in  a  body  and 
occupied  the  citadel  of  Antonio,  near  the 
Temple.  Both  parties  appealed  to  Cestius, 
the  governor  of  Syria,  and  he,  desiring  to 
reinstate  florus,  demanded  an  unconditional 
submission.  He  was  responded  to  with  the 
cry  of  "War,  war,  with  Edom!"*  repeated 
from  every  part  of  the  Jewish  dominions. 
Eang  Agrippa,  and  the  moderate  party  at 
Jerusalem,  tried  to  calm  the  minds  of  the 
people,  but  Cestius  came  up  to  quell  the  in- 
surrection by  force.  Afler  seizing  a  few 
strongholds,  he  was  completely  surrounded  by 
his  enemies,  who  rose  and  seemed  to  multiply 
on  all  sides;  the  Romans  retired,  weeping 
with  rage,  having  only  escaped  complete  de- 
struction by  the  successful  result  of  a  strata- 
gem, (a.d.  68.)  The  tidings  that  Judea  was 
in  a  state  of  insurrection,  struck  terror  into 
the  heart  of  Nero,  in  the  midst  of  his  fearful 
debaucheries.     He  imagined  that  the  safety 

*  Rome  is  designated  as  Edom  by  the  Rabbinical 
writers. 


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70  FLAYIUS   JOSEl^HUS. 

of  the  empire  was  threatened,  and  sent  Ves- 
pasian, a  man  raised  from  the  ranks  by  his 
tried  valonr  and  skill,  at  the  head  of  a  formid- 
able army,  accompanied  by  his  son  Titns,  and 
Trajan, 'father  of  the  emperor  of  that  name. 
In  the  mean  while,  the  insurrection  was 
spreading  and  becoming  organized,  amidst 
the  signs  and  foreboding  of  calamity  foretold 
by  the  Lord.  The  command  of  Upper  and 
Lower  Galilee  was  intrusted  to  Josephus,  the 
son  of  Mattathias,  sprung  from  a  family  be- 
longing to  the  priesthood,  and  descended  on 
the  mother's  side  from  the  Asmonean  race. 
This  general,  famed  also  as  a  cotemporary 
historian,  formed  his  plans  of  defence  at  Ga~ 
mala,  where  he  awaited  the  Boman  army, 
who,  with  their  auxiliary  forces  of  Syrians, 
Arabs,  and  Egyptian  horsemen,  marched 
against  him,  under,  the  golden  eagle  of  the 
Caesars.  The  towns  of  Galilee  were  first  at- 
tacked, and  Josephus  sustained  a  siege  of 
forty-seven  days  at  Jotapater,  with  a  courage 
and  military  skill  which  has  obtained  uni- 
versal admiration.  He  was  at  length  obliged 
to  abandon  his  position,  after  4000  Jews  (ac- 
cording to  his  usually  exaggerated  calculation) 
had  perished  in  the  defence  and  capture  of 
the  town.    Josephus  held  out  for  some  time 


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FtAYins   J08EFHU8.  71 

longer,  having  concealed  himself  with  forty  of 
his  soldiers  in  a  subterranean  passage.  Hav* 
ing  escaped  alive,  almost  by  miracle,  he  sur- 
rendered himself  to  Vespasian,  and  foretold 
to  the  future  emperor  the  high  destiny  that 
awaited  him.  Though  guarded  for  some  time 
as  a  prisoner,  he  was  subsequently  released, 
and  treated  with  peculiar  favour  by  the  two 
generals,  from  whom  he  received  the  name  of 
Flavins.  From  that  time  he  never  bore  arms 
against  the  Bomans,  but  acted  to  the  end  as 
a  mediator,  endeavouring,  in  concert  with 
King  Agrippa,  to  use  his  influence  in  bring- 
ing about  a  capitulation  upon  equitable  terms. 
He  survived  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem, 
his  life,  and  all  his  property  being  secured  to 
him  by  favour  of  the  emperor.  He  wrote  a 
"  History  of  the  War  between  the  Jews  and 
the  Bomans,"  a  **  History  of  the  Jewish 
Nation,*'  and  memoirs  of  his  own  life,  all  in- 
teresting sources  of  information,  and  mostly 
to  be  depended  upon  as  faithful  recitals  of 
the  almost  unexampled  events  which  came 
within  his  own  observation.  He  exhibits  more 
partiality  to  the  conqueror  than  to  his  own 
people,  without  quite  losing  sight  of  his  own 
nationality.  When,  however,  his  national  pride 
appears,  it  is  mingled  with  too  much  self- 


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72  FLAYIUS   JOSEPHUS. 

complacency.  We  may  easUy  conceive  the 
treatment  such  a  character  would  meet  with 
from  its  cotemporaries,  especially  the  Zealots. 
By  their  party,  his  conduct  during  the  siege 
of  Jerusalem  was  looked  upon  as  open 
treachery  against  his  country  and  his  people. 
The  fresh  interest  taken  in  our  time,  in  all 
that  concerns  the  Jewish  people,  has  essen- 
tially modified  the  opinion  which  the  Chris- 
tian world  had  formed  of  Josephus.  His 
History  was  long  considered  only  as  the  tes- 
timony of  an  unconverted  Jew,  who  witnessed 
and  described  the  misfortunes  of  his  country. 

In  our  days,  a  different  view,  in  many 
respects,  is  taken  of  the  subject.  Modem 
Jewish  criticism  complains  that  in  taking  for 
granted  the  whole  testimony  of  Josephus,  we 
only  hear  one  side  of  the  question.*  Those 
who  take  this  view  endeavour  to  establish,  by 
means  of  Josephus's  works,  the  arguments 
and  reasons  of  his  political  antagonists, 
especially  those  of  John  of  Giscala,  the 
famous  Zealot,  the  memoirs  of  whose  party 
have  not  passed  down  to  us.  Josephus  is 
blamed  by  Christians  also  for  his  want  of 
patriotism,  and  his  prejudice  in  favour  of  the 

*  '^  A  History  of  the  Boman  Dominion  in  Judea,  and 
the  Destruction  of  Jerusalem,  bj  Salvador."  Paris,  1847. 


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FLAT1D8    J08EPHUS.  73 

most  cruel  enemies  of  his  nation.  It  is  no 
longer  thought  to  add  to  his  credit,  who,  taking 
no  Christian  view  of  the  subject,  was  ignorant 
of  the  greatest  and  real  crime  of  Israel,  that 
he  displayed  so  much  severity  towards  his 
countrymen,  and  so  much  admiratioif  for  the 
desolators  of  Jerusalem,*  In  making  these 
remarks,  we  do  not  mean  to  detract  from  the 
great  value  of  Josephus's  testimony,  or  to  over- 
look the  evident  guidance  of  God,  in  appoint- 
ing that  the  crimes  and  wickedness  of  which 
the  nation  were  guilty  should  be  recorded  by 
the  pen  of  a  cotemporary  Jewish  historian. 
The  tendency  of  Christians  in  our  days  is  to 
sympathize  with  the  sufferings  of  the  Jewish 
people,  while  recognising  in  them  judgments 
inflicted  by  God  himself.  Thus  they  can  no 
longer  look  with  undivided  admiration  upon 
the  authors  of  aU  this  misery,  or  disregard  the 
bravery,  and  even,  humanly  speaking,  the  jus^ 
tice  of  catise  on  the  Jewish  side,  in  their 
struggle  with  Rome.  If,  however,  we  consider 
the  circumstances  in  which  Josephus  was 
placed,  and  the  peculiar  features  of  his  cha- 
racter, we  shall  no  longer  be  surprised  at  his 
own  conduct,  or  the  views  he  was  led  to  take 
of  the  events  before  him. 

*  See  Charlotte  Elizabeth's  <' Judea  Capta." 


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74  THE  THREE  PARTIES. 

During  the  war  between  the  Jews  and  the 
Romans,  we  may  notice  among  the  former, 
three  distinct  parties: — the  aristocratic,  or 
Conservatiye  party,  who  desired  peace;  that 
of  the  Zealots,  whose  aim  was  entire  deliver- 
ance from  the  Soman  power ;  lastly,  that  of 
the  Sicarii,  or  ultra-Revolutionists,  men  of 
bloodshed  and  pillage.  We  find,  long  before 
this  time,  both  in  the  history  of  Josephus,  and 
even  in  the  gospels,  these  three  difierent 
parties  beginning  to  manifest  themselves.* 
It  was  but  natural  that  all  should  feel  equal 
hatred  and  aversion  to  the  Roman  dominion, 
modified,  however,  by  the  difference  of  rank 
and  situation.  Nor  was  it  less  in  accordance 
with  the  spirit  of  the  times,  that  these  three 
parties,  stirred  up  by  fierce  and  angry  discus^ 
sions,  should  be  as  ready  to  draw  their  swords 
upon  one  another,  as  to  use  their  united  efforts 
against  the  common  enemy.  Josephus  be« 
longed  by  birth,  rank,  and  natural  disposition, 
to  the  first  of  these,  the  aristocracy  of  the 
country. 

Sharing   but  feebly,    even    in   a  worldly- 
minded    manner,     the    national    expectation 
of  a  Messiah,  he  could  not  oppose  to  Roman 
tyranny    the    zeal,     or    rather,     fanaticism, 
*  St  John  xi.  48,  49;  Acts  v.  S6;  xzi.  32;  xziii.  12. 


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JERUSALEM   AND   ROME.  75 

of  the  Zealots,  or  religious  Jews,  who  were  iu 
constant  expectation  of  a  Messiah,  whose 
earthly  rule  should  be  established,  they 
imagined,  by  force  of  arms. 

As  long  as  Josephus  considered  that 
oppression  and  ill-treatment  gave  the  Jews 
just  cause  of  complaint  and  resistance,  he 
exhausted  in  their  defence  all  the  enthusiasm 
he  possessed,  and  exerted  the  great  talents 
with  which  he  was  really  endowed ;  but  when 
Gessius  Florus  and  Gallus  Cestius  were  re- 
placed by  Vespasian  and  Titus,  we  cannot  be 
surprised  at  his  taking  quite  a  different  view 
of  affairs,  and  choosing  for  himself  the  position 
he  afterwards  occupied,  between  the  Romans 
and  his  fellow-countrymen,  which  he  sustained 
with  dignity  amidst  the  reproaches  and  vocife- 
rations of  his  enemies. 

He  knew  the  inexhaustible  resources  of 
Bome,  and,  more  than  ever  convinced,  after 
the  siege  and  taking  of  Jotapata,  that  the 
courage  of  the  Jews,  though  desperate  in  its 
character,  could  not  cope  with  the  science  and 
discipline  of  the  Soman  army,  he  only  sought 
the  means  of  saving  his  country  by  a  padfica- 
tion,  which  he  continued  to  the  last  to 
offer  and  recommend  to  his  countrymen,  in 
the  name  of  the  Roman  General.  In  taking 
X  2 


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76  JERUSALEM   AMD   ROME. 

a  view  of  these  events,  though  we  may  reproach 
Josephus  with  the  want  of  true  patriotism,  we 
should  not  overlook  the  value  of  his  testimony, 
the  real  superiority  of  which  we  are  daUy 
better  able  to  appreciate.  His  topographical 
knowledge  of  the  country  and  the  holy  city, 
his  acquaintance  with  the  military  tactics, 
both  of  the  Jews  and  Romans,  and  his  skill  in 
the  art  of  fortification,  place  Josephus  on  a 
line  of  equality  with  writers  such  as  Vigetius 
and  Polybius. 

To  return  to  the  history.  In  Galilee, 
Gamala  also  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Ro- 
mans, after  a  heroic  defence,  in  which  both 
Vespasian  and  his  son  were  wounded.  The 
way  to  Jerusalem  was  now  open,  but  import- 
ant tidings  from  Italy  arrested,  for  a  time, 
the  progress  of  the  Roman  arms  in  Palestine. 
Nero  had  been  declared  by  the  Roman  Senate 
an  enemy  of  the  State,  and  had  killed  himself; 
Galba  and  Otho,  having  reigned  each  a  few 
days,  were  succeeded  by  Vitellius,  proclaimed 
Emperor  by  the  Roman  legions  in  Germany. 
During  these  revolutions,  Vespasian  remained 
in  camp,  under  the  walls  of  Ceesarea.  It  is 
most  probable,  that,  during  this  involuntary 
armistice,  the  Christians  at  Jerusalem,  obeying 
the  injunctions  of  our  Lord,  escaped  to  PeUa, 


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JERUSALEM    AND    ROME.  77 

among  the  mountains.  (St.  Luke  xx.  20^  21.) 
Vespasiam  was  soon  after  proclaimed  Emperor 
by  the  troops  before  Gaesarea,  and  hastened,  in 
consequence,  to  Borne,  leaving  the  command 
of  the  war,  and  the  siege  of  Jerusalem,  to  his 
son  Titus. 

It  was  in  the  spring  of  the  year  70,  that 
Titus,  assembling  his  legions  at  Ceesarea,  gave 
orders  to  the  fifth  legion  to  march  upon  Em- 
maus — to  the  tenth,  to  fall  upon  Jericho,  and  to 
the  twelfth,  (still  burning  with  desire  to  efface 
their  defeat  under  Cestius)  to  post  itself  upon 
the  Mount  of  Olives.  The  feast  of  the  Pass- 
over was  at  hand,  and  an  immense  multitude 
of  Israelites  were  assembled  at  Jerusalem ;  so 
that  when  Titus  and  his  allies  marched  against 
the  city,  it  contained,  according  to  Josephus, 
2,700,000  persons.  At  first,  the  attack  and 
defence  were  carried  on  with  equal  fury ;  but 
to  the  violent  and  repeated  sallies  of  the  be- 
sieged, which  had  surprised  and  scattered  the 
tenth  legion,  the  Komans  subsequently  opposed 
a  determination  to  remain  immovable  as  the 
solid  rock,  which  stands  unshaken  amidst  the 
raging  billows  that  break  upon  it.  Brilliant 
and  imposing  in  appearance,  with  its  formidable 
array  of  warlike  engines,  was  the  army  which 
Titus  posted  upon  the  north  side  of  Jerusalem. 


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78  SIEGE  OF   JERUSALEM. 

From  thence  he  overlooked  the  beautiful  city, 
seated  on  her  two  mountains,  and  the  valley 
between  them  filled  with  citizens,  all  armed, 
all  on  the  watch.  On  the  east  side,  the  upper 
town  was  at  once  adorned  and  defended  by 
the  Temple,  and  the  tower  of  Antonia.  The 
lower  town  had  before  been  partially  demo- 
lished in  the  time  of  the  Maccabees.  On  the 
south  side  was  Zion,  the  city  of  David,  while 
a  triple  wall,  defended  by  ninety  towers,  sur- 
rounded the  whole  extent. of  the  city.  The 
siege  lasted  five  months;  at  the  end  of  the  first, 
the  Roman  cohorts,  after  many  bloody  con- 
flicts, took  possession  of  the  first  wall,  and  the 
northern  suburb  of  Bezetha  fell  into  the  hands 
of  Titus.  Five  days  after,  the  second  wall 
was  taken  by  the  Roman  General,  who  made 
way  through  the  breach  with  2,000  men,  and 
subdued  the  new  town,  which  formed  the 
centre  of  industry  and  commerce  at  Jerusalem. 
Then  began  the  second  and  more  dreadful 
part  of  the  siege.  For  two  months  (from  the 
end  of  April  to  the  beginning  of  July)  the 
Romans  had  been  casting  up  works  against 
the  tower  of  Antonia,  from  which  the  Roman 
governor  of  Jerusalem  formerly  overlooked  the 
Temple,  and  put  a  check  on  the  whole  force  of 
the    people.    (Acts  xxL  34.)      Titus    again 


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8IEOE  OF   JERUSALEM*  79 

attempted  to  persuade  the  Jews  to  capitulate. 
He  sent  Josephus  to  them,  with  proposals  of 
clemency ;  but  the  Zealots  received  him  with 
derision,  and  with  showers  of  stones.  A  fearful 
series  of  crucifixions  of  the  Jewish  prisoners 
then  took  place  by  command  of  Titus,  but  this 
also  failed  to  make  any  impression  upon  the 
besieged.  They  even  gained  ground  against 
the  Romans,  and  it  seemed  for  a  moment  pos- 
sible that  the  tide  of  war  might  even  yet  be 
turned.  The  Jews  contrived,  by  a  successful 
mining  operation,  and  an  attack  conducted 
simultaneously  by  Simon,  the  son  of  Oioras, 
and  John,  of  Giscala,  to  destroy  the  engines  of 
the  besiegers,  and  even  subject  them  to  a  con- 
siderable defeat.  While  affairs  were  in  this 
state,  the  plan  formed  by  Titus  was  adopted 
in  a  council  of  war  held  by  the  captains :  his 
proposal  took  a  middle  line,  between  those 
who  desired  an  immediate  attack  and  those 
who  would  reduce  the  city  by  famine  alone. 
It  was  to  compass  the  whole  city  with  a  wall, 
surmounted  by  thirteen  towers,  at  a  little  dis- 
tance from  the  third  and  last  wall  remaining 
to  the  Jews.  This  work,  which,  under  ordinary 
circumstances,  would  have^taken  three  months 
to  complete,  was  actually  raised  in  three  days, 
by  the  incredible  activity  of  the  Romans. 


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80  8IEOE   OF    JERUSALEM. 

Thus  unexpectedly  were  the  words  of  our 
Lord,  in  his  address  to  Jerusalem,  literally 
fulfilled.  (Luke  xix.)  "  For  ♦  the  days  shall 
come  that  thine  enemies  shall  cast  a  trench 
about  thee,  and  keep  thee  in  on  every  side, 
and  thy  children  within  thee."  From  that 
time  the  miseries  endured  by  the  besieged  are 
beyond  recital ;  then  was  fulfilled,  to  the  very 
letter,  the  heart-rending  prophecy,  "  the  pitiful 
women  have  sodden  their  own  children  ;*'  then 
was  there  indeed  Woe  upon  Jerusalem. 

After  many  fearful  struggles,  the  citadel  of 
Antonia  was  taken  and  demolished  by  the 
Romans,  and  Titus  stationed  his  victorious 
army  upon  Mount  Moriah.  He  once  more 
made  an  offer  of  pardon,  which  was  answered 
as  usual  by  an  obstinate  rejection,  and  the 
same  day  the  Romans  planted  their  formidable 
battering  rams  against  the  Temple.  For  six 
days  the  indomitable  courage  of  its  defenders, 
and  the  immense  solidity  of  its  waUs,  resisted 
every  effort.  At  length,  however,  the  sanc- 
tuary itself  was  carried;  and  though  the 
day  before  Titus,  in  a  council  of  war,  had 
given  the.  strictest  injunctions  that  the 
Temple    should    be   preserved;    yet    in    the 

•  Tl€pipaXowrw  ol  €)(Bpoi  ^nm  yapoKd.  croc,  iceu  ircpua;fcX«MraiKri 
<rc,  Kox  <rvyi(ov<rt  o-e  muro^cv. 


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SIEGE   OF   JERUSALEM.  81 

fury  and  confusion  of  the  conflict,  a  burning 
torch  was  thrown  by  one  of  the  Boman  soldiers 
into  a  chamber  near  the  Holy  of  Holies,  and 
the  fire  which  ensued  defied  every  effort  to 
subdue  it.  Thus  were  fulfilled  the  words  of 
Daniel :  "  The  people  of  the  prince  that  shall 
come  shall  destroy  the  city  and  the  sanctuary ; 
and  the  end  thereof  shall  be  with  a  flood,  and 
unto  the  end  of  the  war  desolations  are  de- 
termined." (Dan.  ix.  26.)  On  the  fourteenth 
day  of  the  seventieth  year  did  the  daily 
sacrifice  cease  in  Israel.  It  was  on  the  ninth 
of  Ab  that  Nebuchadnezzar  destroyed  the  first 
Temple,  and  on  the  same  day,  168  years  after, 
the  golden  eagle  of  Rome  was  raised  on  the 
site  of  the  second  Temple.  In  this  extremity, 
the  besieged  began  to  entertain  thoughts  of  a 
surrender,  and  demanded  a  parley.  They 
offered  to  abandon  the  city  to  the  conquerors 
on  condition  of  being  allowed  to  leave  it 
themselves  with  their  wives  and  children.  The 
besiegers  on  their  side  were  now  inflexible,  and 
the  Jews  throwing  themselves  into  the  royal 
palace,  defended  the  upper  town  with  the  same 
desperate  courage  with  which  they  had  dis- 
puted every  inch  of  the  lower.  Another 
victory  was  gained  by  the  Romans  with  in- 
credible effort  and  fearful  bloodshed,  and  on 
£  3 


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82  THE  TAKING   OF  JERUSALEM. 

the  8th  of  September  the  sun  rose  upon  the 
smoking  ruins  alone  of  the  city,  deluged  with 
the  blood  of  its  inhabitants.  The  end  was 
come.  Many  days  were  devoted  to  wreaking 
vengeance  on  the  vanquished,  pillaging  the 
city,  and  crucifying  the  remaining  inhabitants. 
After  the  taking  of  Jerusalem,  many  strong- 
holds, such  as  Herodion,  Macaira,  and  Massada, 
fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Komans,  after  being 
defended  by  the  Jews  to  the  last  extremity, 
and  not  then  surrendered,  but  abandoned  to 
the  enemy,  who  found  in  them  only  the  dead 
bodies  of  their  inhabitants,  who  had  put  one 
another  to  death. 

When  Titus,  standing  upon  the  ruins  of  the 
prostrate  city,  contemplated  his  triumph,  he  is 
said  to  have  exclaimed,  '^  It  is  in  truth  a  god 
who  has  given  us  the  victory  and  driven  the 
Jews  from  a  position  from  which  no  human 
power  could  ever  have  dislodged  them."  Jo- 
sephus,  who  relates  this  circumstance,  states 
also,  that  1,100,000  men  perished  during  this 
fatal  war,  either  in  its  conflicts,  sieges,  and 
assaults,  or  by  the  hand  of  the  executioner. 
An  immense  multitude  of  prisoners,  men, 
women,  and  children,  were  either  sold  into 
slavery,  crucified,  or  thrown  to  wild  beasts. 
The  General  was  lavish  in  praise  of  the  valour 


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THE  TRIUMPH  OF   TITITS.  83 

of  his  legions,   and  a  solemn  triumph  was 
decreed  to  him  hy  the  Senate* 

Three  days  before  the  close  of  the  memorable 
year  70,  the  Emperor  Vespasian  and  his  son 
Titus,  habited  in  purple,  and  crowned  with 
laurel,  entered  Rome  by  the  gate  of  triumph, 
followed  by  their  proud  warriors,  and  by  the 
acclamations  of  the  delighted  populace,  on 
their  way  to  the  temple  of  victory.  Among 
the  trophies  carried  before  and  after  the 
triumphal  car  of  the  victor,  besides  many 
designs  representing  various  passages  of  the 
war,  were  the  holy  vessels  of  the  Temple  at 
Jerusalem,  its  golden  table,  its  seven-branched 
candlestick,  and  the  book  of  the  law  of  Moses. 
The  strongest  and  finest  looking  of  the 
prisoners  were  led  chained  to  the  car  of 
triumph ;  among  them  was  Simon,  the  son  of 
Gioras,  who,  amidst  the  shouts  of  the  brutal 
multitude,  was  beaten  and  slain  by  the  lictors 
on  the  Tarpeian  rock,  and  John  of  Giscala, 
who  was  doomed  to  a  perpetual  imprison- 
ment 

Vespasian  dedicated  a  temple  to  the  goddess 
of  peace  in  honour  of  this  day,  and  bronze  and 
marble  were  employed  to  immortalize  his 
triumph.  Few  are  unacquainted  with  the  Roman 
medal,  representing  Judea  as  a  weeping  female, 
resting  her  head  on  her  hand,  at  the  foot  of  the 


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84  THE  TRIUMPH  OF  TITUS. 

palm  of  her  country,  while  the  fierce  Roman 
soldier  stands  by  unmoved. 

A  faithful  representation  of  the  holy  vessels 
of  the  Temple  still  remains  to  us  in  the  sculp- 
tures decorating  the  marble  arch,  called  by  the 
name  of  the  Victor,  by  the  erection  of  which 
the  vain-glory  of  the  Eoman  Emperor  has 
transmitted  to  posterity  a  most  interesting 
memorial  of  the  dreadful  conflict  between 
Rome  and  Jerusalem,  and  given  an  involuntary 
testimony  of  the  truth  of  Holy  Scripture,  in 
which  those  fearful  judgments  had  been  long 
before  predicted. 

Even  to  this  day,  the  Jews  in  every  country 
of  their  exile  and  dispersion  have  continued  to 
observe  the  9th  day  of  the  month  Ab,  in 
memorial  of  both  the  first  and  second 
destruction  of  their  city  and  sanctuary.  Next 
to  the  great  day  of  atonement,  it  is  the  most 
strictly  kept  of  their  fasts.  Even  the  day 
before,  the  pious  Israelite  takes  nothing  beyond 
what  absolute  necessity  requires :  he  seats 
himself  on  the  ground,  either  at  home  or  in 
the  synagogue,  by  the  dim  light  of  a  small 
candle,  and  the  evening  service  commences 
with  the  138th  Psalm:— *' By  the  waters  of 
Babylon  we  sat  down  and  wept."  Mournful 
and  penitential  psalms  are  chanted  in  succession 
throughout  the  day,  especially  the  Lamentations 


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THE   FEAST   OF    AB.  85 

of  Jeremiah,  of  which  so  many  striking  features, 
once  fulfilled  in  the  taking  of  Jerusalem  by  the 
Babylonians,  were  still  more  signally  ac- 
complished, in  its  destruction  by  the  RoraansI* 
Let  us  look  at  one  touching  passage,  taken 
from  the  mournful  prophet  of  Israel,  which  is 
repeated  on  the  fast  of  Ab  in  the  synagogues 
of  the  dispersed  and  captive  nation : — 

1  How  is  the  gold  tarnished ! 
The  good  pure  gold  changed ! 

The  stones  of  the  sanctuary  poured  out  at  the 
end  of  every  street ; 

2  The  precious  sons  of  Zion, 
Likened  unto  refined  gold. 

How  are  they  counted  as  earthen  vessels, 
"Work  of  the  hands  of  the  potter  ! 

3  Even  the  jackals  draw  out  the  breast, 
They  give  suck  to  their  young ; 

The  daughter  of  my  people  is  cruel. 
Like  the  ostriches  of  the  desert. 

4  The  tongue  of  the  sucking  child  cleaveth  to  its 

jaws  for  thirst, 
The  little  children  ask  bread — ^no  one  breaketh  it 
to  them. 
*  In  the  synagogue  of  the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  Jews, 
since  their  expulsion  from  the  country  in  the  fifteenth 
century,  these  chapters  of  Jeremiah  are  read  with  their 
Jadeo-Spanish  translation,  as  if  to  connect  the  remem- 
brance of  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem  by  the  armies  of 
Rome  with  the  banishment    of   the  Jews  from  their 
adopted  country  by  the  Jnguisitian  of  Rome, 


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86  THE  FEAST   OF   AB. 

5  Thej  that  fed  upon  dainties^ — are  desolate  in 

the  streets. 
Brought  up  upon  couches  of  scarlet, — they  lie 
upon  dunghills. 

6  And  the  iniquity  of  the  daughter  of  my  people 

is  become  greater  than  the  sin  of  Sodom. 
Whose  overthrow  was  sudden. 
And  no  hand  undermined  her. 

7  Her  princes  were  purer  than  snow. 
They  were  whiter  than  milk, 
They  were  more  ruddy  than  rubies, 
Their  body  as  a  sapphire, 

8  Their  faces  are  darker  than  blackness. 
They  are  not  recognised  in  the  streets  ; 
Their  skin  cleaveth  to  the  bones. 
They  are  withered  as  a  stick. 

9  The  slain  with  the  sword  were  happier  than  those 

slain  with  hunger, 
For  they  died  pierced  through, — ^but  these  for 
lack  of  the  finiits  of  the  field. 

10  The  hands  of  the  pitiful  women  have  sodden 

their  children. 
They  were  their  sustenance  in  the  destruction  of 
the  daughter  of  my  people. 

1 1  Jehovah  hath  spent  his  wfath. 

He  hath  poured  out  the  fury  of  his  anger. 
And  hath  kindled  a  fire  in  Zion, 
It  hath  consumed  her  foundations. 

12  The  kings  of  the  earth  had  not  believed. 
Nor  the  inhabitants  of  the  world. 

That  an  adversary  or  an  enemy  would  come  into 
the  gates  of  Jerusalem. 


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JERUSALEM.  87 

13  For  the  sins  of  her  prophets. 
The  iniquity  of  her  priesthood. 

Who  shed  the  blood  of  the  righteous  in  the  midst 
of  her. 

14  Thej  wandered  as  the  blind  in  the  streets, 
They  were  defiled  with  blood, 

So  that  men  could  not  touch  their  garments. 

15  Depart,  O  unclean,  they  cry  to  them.  Depart, 

depart,  approach  not ! 
For  they  were  made  desolate,  they  also  wandered. 
And  it  was  said  by  the  nations,  They  shall  not 

continue  to  sojourn. 

16  The  wrath  of  Jehovah  hath  scattered  them. 
He  will  no  more  look  upon  them. 

They  have  not  shown  honour  to  the  priests. 
They  have  not  respected  the  aged. 

17  Our  eyes  are  still  dim. 

With  looking  for  our  help  in  vain, 
In  watching  we  have  watched, 
For  a  nation  that  cannot  save. 

18  They  have  constantly  laid  a  snare 
For  all  that  walk  in  our  streets ; 

Our  end  is  near,  they  have  filled  our  days. 
For  our  end  is  come. 

19  They  that  pursued  us  were  swifter  than   the 

ei^Ies  of  heaven. 
They  chased  us  upon  the  mountains. 
They  laid  wait  for  us  in  the  wilderness. 

Lam.  iv.  1 — 19. 

Jerusalem  had  fallen,  and  the  prediction  of 


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88  JERUSALEM. 

Jesus  concerning  the  city,  its  Temple,  and  its 
inhabitants  was  accomplished.  But  the  pro- 
phecies of  misery  were  not  completely  fulfilled, 
the  sentence  not  executed  to  the  utmost,  nor 
the  history  of  Jerusalem  yet  ended. 

The  Temple  was  burned,  the  town  and  its 
inhabitants  destroyed,  the  "  city  of  the  great 
king  "  had  become  a  ruin.  But  to  this  ruin  a 
history  belongs,  which  has  not  yet  come  to  a 
close;  a  history  which  bears  the  annals  of 
more  than  1800  years.  The  prophecies  of 
God's  Word  also  speak  of  this  ruin,  these  dry 
bones  which  shall  one  day  live.  *^  Jerusalem 
shall  be  trodden  down  of  the  Gentiles,  until 
the  times  of  the  Gentiles  be  fulfilled."  (Luke 
xxi.  24.)  The  subject  we  have  taken  in  hand 
requires  us  to  give  a  short  view  of  this  treading 
underfoot^  to  which  it  was  subjected  successively 
by  Christians,  Persians,  Saracens,  Egyptians, 
Franks,  and  Turks. 

Our  sketch  will  begin  in  the  time  of  Titus, 
Trajan,  and  Adrian,  and  extend  to  the  times 
of  Mehemet  Ali  and  Abdoul ;  from  the  days  of 
Simon,  the  son  of  Gioras,  and  John  of  Giscala 
to  those  of  Sir  Moses  Montefiore;  and  the 
foundation  in  these  latter  days  of  a  Protestant 
Christian  Bishopric  at  Jerusalem. 


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JERUSALEM.  89 

We  have  already  mentioned,  that  the  pro- 
phecies concerning  Jerusalem,  and  the  exist* 
ence  of  Judea,  were  not  entirely  accomplished. 
Truly,  according  to  the  words  of  our  Saviour, 
on  the  Mount  of  Olives,  one  stone  of  the 
Temple  and  its  magnificent  buildings  had  not 
been  left  upon  another;  but,  in  Jerusalem 
itself,  there  still  remained  standing  three  out 
of  the  ninety  towers  which  formerly  guarded 
its  walls.  The  towers  of  Hippicus,  Phasael,  and 
Mariamne  still  remained,  and  after  the  days  of 
Vespasian  and  Titus  became  again  strongholds 
of  the  people  of  Israel,  not  yet  entirely  dis- 
couraged by  their  preceding  overthrow. 

It  is  also  very  remarkable,  that,  among  the 
judgments  which  should  follow  the  rejection  of 
Messiah,  our  Lord  had  foretold  the  appearance 
of  false  prophets  and  false  Christs;  and  this 
sign  of  the  times  had  as  yet  been  wanting. 
No  one  heading  the  revolts  against  Nero  and 
the  Vespasians  ever  assumed  the  title  of 
Messiah,  or  King  of  Israel !  But  exactly  half  a 
century  after  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem,  a 
similar  insurrection  under  the  conduct  of  a 
pseudo-Messiah  exhibits  a  yet  more  formidable 
struggle  between  the  Jewish  people  and  the 
Romans,  with  a  more  completely  decisive  issue. 
In  this  point  of  view  the  revolt  under  Bar 


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90  *   BAR   COCHBA. 

Cochba*  and  his  companion,  or  Prophet  Akiba, 
is  a  marked  epoch  in  the  history  of  Israers 
overthrow  as  a  nation  by  the  Roman  Emperor. 

It  is,  however,  to  be  regretted  that  after  the 
complete  annals  of  the  first  destruction  of 
Jerusalem,  given  us  by  Josephus,  an  eye- 
witness, we  have  no  regular  or  detailed  narra- 
tive ;  so  that  the  account  of  the  revolt  under 
Bar  Cochba  comes  down  to  us  more  as  a  kind 
of  legend  than  as  matter  of  history.  The 
Danish  Bishop  Munster,  celebrated  for  his 
research  into  the  history  of  the  Jews  after 
their  rejection  of  the  Messiah,  notwithstanding 
the  interesting  result  of  his  inquiries,  remarks 
upon  the  numerous  blanks  which  occur  at  this 
period,  and  expresses  a  doubt  of  their  being 
ever  filled  up.  The  following  particulars, 
however,  seem  to  be  well  authenticated. 

In  the  reign  of  the  Emperor  Trajan,  the 
first  outbreaks  began  of  a  fresh  revolt  of  the 
Jews  against  the  Romans.  In  the  year  a.d. 
116,  the  Emperor,  having  been  victorious  in 
person  over  all  the  Asiatic  powers,  and  ex- 
tended his  dominion  nearly  to  the  capital  of 
Farthia,  was    reposing,  like    Alexander  the 

*  In  later  years,  the  Jews  recognising  the  deception 
practised  upon  them,  sumomed  him  Bar  Coziba,  or,  son  of 
a  lie. 


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BAR   COCHBA.  91 

Great,  at  Babylon,  after  his  daring  and  suc- 
cessful exploits;  when  the  announcement 
reached  him  on  the  spot,  that  a  general  revolt 
was  breaking  out  among  the  Jews,  all  along 
the  coast  of  the  Mediterranean,  in  Cyprus, 
Egypt,  and  Cyrene.  In  the  latter  province 
an  almost  incredible  amount  of  Greeks  and 
Eomans  are  said  to  have  perished  by  the  hands 
of  the  Jews.  The  insurrection  spread  to  the 
banks  of  the  Euphrates,  and  the  Romans  feared 
an  alliance  between  the  Jews  and  Farthians, 
which,  in  fact,  soon  took  place.  Trajan  removed 
to  Antioch,  but,  being  taken  ill  there,  died  on 
his  way  to  Rome.  JSlius  Adrian,  a  relation 
of  his,  also  of  Spanish  extraction,  succeeded 
him.  During  the  first  years  of  his  reign,  the 
General  Martins  Turbo  quelled  the  disturb- 
ances among  the  Jews  of  Asia  and  Egypt, 
which  were  only  a  prelude  to  the  general 
insurrection  in  Palestine  during  the  last  years 
of  the  reign  of  Adrian.  It  was  about  the  year 
A.D.  133,  nearly  twenty  years  after  the  insur- 
rection quelled  by  Martins  Turbo,  and  sixty 
years  after  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem,  that 
the  approach  of  the  seventieth  year,  so  happy 
a  period  at  the  time  of  the  first  captivity, 
brought  to  maturity  a  plan  which  had  long 
been  forming  in  the  hearts  of  the  people. 


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92  BAR   COCHBA. 

The  elders  of  Israel,  who  had  in  their  youthful 
days  heheld  the  glory  of  the  Temple,  flattered 
themselves  and  the  people  with  the  hope  that 
they  should  soon  witness  the  re-establishment 
of  their  nation,  and  the  rebuilding  of  their 
city  and  temple. 

Adrian,  always,  and  not  without  cause,  mis- 
trustful of  the  Jews,  kindled  by  his  very  pre- 
cautions the  spark  which  set  the  whole  country 
in  a  blaze;  when  he  decreed  that  Jerusalem 
should  be  made  a  Roman  colony,  with  the 
name  of  JElia  Capitolina,  and  prohibited  the 
ceremony  of  circumcision.  About  this  time 
the  Emperor  visited  in  person  the  provinces  of 
Syria  and  Egypt.  A  profound  stillness  then 
reigned  in  Palestine,  but  hardly  had  Adrian 
reached  the  more  remote  Asiatic  provinces, 
when  the  insurrection  broke  out  with  incon- 
ceivable fury.  Bether,  or  Bethhoron,  to  the 
north-west  of  Jerusalem,  became  the  head- 
quarters of  revolt,  and  the  seat  of  its  leader 
Bar  Cochba.  There,  many  thousands  of  the 
Jewish  people  flocked  to  him  from  all  parts, 
and  declared  him  their  Prince  and  Messiah  of 
the  house  of  David.  From  thence  he  extended 
his  conquests  as  far  as  Syria,  persecuted  the 
Christians,  who  refused  to  join  the  insurrec- 
tion, and  took  possession  of  Jerusalem,  where 


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JERUSALEM.  93 

he  changed  the  form  of  the  Samaritan  coins, 
hy  the  addition  of  his  own  name,  with  the  title 
of  Nasi,  or  Prince. 

This  guerilla  warfare  continued  for  four 
years.  The  slaughter  then  made  among  the 
Romans  was  quite  unprecedented,  to  judge 
from  the  expressions  of  their  own  writers, 
who  describe  this  war  "  as  a  shaking  of  the 
whole  earth."  They  even  assert,  that  on  this 
occasion  the  Emperor  omitted  the  formulary 
with  which  his  communications  to  the  Senate 
were  usually  headed,  viz.,  "  I  and  the  army  fare^ 
well."  Jerusalem  was  ere  long  retaken  by 
Titus  Annius  Bufus,  who  subsequently  gained 
possession  of  fifty  strongholds,  and  980  town- 
ships, including  Bether.  By  a  last  effort,  in 
which  the  Emperor  exerted,  as  it  were,  all  his 
strength,  the  war  was  brought  to  a  close ;  and 
after  incredible  exertions  and  immense  loss, 
the  ancient  and  tenacious  enemy  of  Rome  was 
effectually  crushed. 

Titus  had  destroyed  the  capital  of  Judea, 
but  Adrian  made  the  whole  country  of  Pales- 
tine a  desolation,  and  completed  the  expulsion 
of  its  inhabitants  and  their  dispersion  over  all 
the  earth,  a.d.  136.  Aft;er  this  last  conflict, 
we  hear  no  more  of  Bar  Cochba,  though  it  is 
uncertain  if  he  fell  by  the  hands  of  the  Romans 


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9d  JERUSALEM. 

or  of  his  own  countrymen.  Akiba  was  taken 
and  executed ;  tradition  relates  that  he  suffered 
by  torture.  About  680,000  Jews  perished  in 
the  four  years  of  this  murderous  warfare,  and 
thousands  of  prisoners  were  sold  at  the  very 
lowest  price ;  others  found  a  reiuge  in  foreign 
lands,  a  great  number  of  whom  joined  the 
Jewish  colonies  already  established  in  Spain. 

wMia  Capitolina  had  risen  into  a  city,  but 
Mount  Zion  was  no  longer  within  the  walls  of 
this  heathen  Jerusalem;  a  temple  to  Jupiter 
Capitolinus  occupied  the  spot  where  the  house 
of  Jehovah  formerly  stood ;  and  over  the  Beth- 
lehem gate  was  placed  the  image  of  a  pig,  the 
abomination  of  the  Jews,  but  a  favourite  device 
of  the  Romans.  At  Golgotha,  a  statue  of 
Venus  was  erected;  at  Bethlehem,  a  temple 
to  Adonis.  The  Jews  were  forbidden  on  pain 
of  death  to  approach  or  inhabit  ^lia  Capito* 
Una ;  this  decree  remained  in  force  '200  years. 

From  the  time  of  Antoninus,  the  successor 
of  Adrian,  the  ordinance  of  circumcision  was 
allowed  to  the  Jews  themselves,  but  not  to 
proselytes.  Jerusalem  being  thus  made  entirely 
a  Roman  town,  the  Jews  fixed  the  head  quar- 
ters of  their  national  religion  at  Tiberias, 
where  they  first  committed  to  writing  the 
Mishna,  or  oral  law.     The  Christians  consoled 


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JERUSALEM.  95 

themselyes  with  the  expectation  of  the  New 
Jerusalem  from  heaven,  foretold  in  the  wrifr- 
ings  of  the  Jewish  prophets,  and  of  St.  John, 
the  prophetic  apostle.  Christianity,  sprung 
from  among  the  Jews,  had  hy  this  time  gained 
a  spiritual  victory  over  the  nation  which  had 
materially  subdued  them  and  the  world. 

A  Christian  hishop  was  ordained  for  j£lia, 
who,  in  process  of  time,  ventured  to  call  him- 
self the  Bishop  of  Jerusalem,  and  in  the  days 
of  Constantine  he  received  the  title  and  autho- 
rity of  Patriarch.  One  hishop  of  JElia  suf- 
fered martyrdom  under  the  Emperor  Decius. 

The  effects  of  the  Emperor  Constantino's 
conversion  to  Christianity  were  of  course 
speedily  felt  at  the  JElia  Capitolina ;  the  city 
resumed  its  ancient  name,  but  became  from 
that  time  a  Christian,  or  rather  Romish  Jeru- 
salem. The  Emperor *s  mother,  Helena,  found- 
ed churches  at  Bethlehem  and  on  the  Mount 
of  Olives.  The  Emperor  himself  was  pre- 
sent at  the  consecration  of  the  church  at  Jeru- 
salem, when  Eusebius,  Bishop  of  Csesarea, 
addressed  the  multitude,  (a.d.  335.)  Later 
writers  speak  of  thirty  churches  built  by  the 
Empress  Helena  in  different  parts  of  the  Holy 
Land;    Jerusalem  became  again  the  metro- 


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96  JERUSALEM. 

polls  of  Christian  piety,  but  also  a  stronghold 
of  antichristian  superstition. 

The  discovery  of  the  holy  sepulchre,  and 
the  real  or  pretended  remains  of  the  cross, 
opened  a  door  to  image  worship,  which  soon 
clouded,  like  a  swarm  of  locusts,  the  whole 
atmosphere  of  the  Christian  world,  and  hid 
from  many  eyes  the  beams  of  its  sun. 

When  Julian  the  Apostate  succeeded  Con- 
stantine,  Jerusalem  was  again  brought  into 
notice  by  a  strange  league  formed  between 
the  Imperial  heathen  philosopher  and  the  dis- 
persed people  of  Judea,  to  belie,  if  possible, 
the  fulfilment  of  the  prophecies,  by  rebuilding 
the  Temple.  Authorized  and  encouraged  by 
Julian,  the  Jews  from  all  parts  assembled  at 
Jerusalem,  and  commenced  the  work  of  re- 
storing their  sanctuary;  men,  women,  and 
children,  in  their  festival  garments,  began  the 
work,  and  with  tools  richly  adorned,  laboured 
at  preparing  the  foundations,  when,  all  at 
once,  balls  of  subterranean  fire  burst  from  the 
spot,  accompanied  with  an  earthquake  and 
hurricanes  of  wind,  which  compelled  them  to 
discontinue  the  work.  Every  hope  of  resum- 
ing it  was  soon  crushed  by  the  death 
of  the  Emperor  Julian,     (a.d.  410.)     This 


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JERUSALEM.  97 

fact  is  related  by  Ammianus  Marcellinus,  a 
historian  of  the  time,  allowed  by  all  to  be  an 
impartial  writer;  and  Jost,  one  of  the  latest 
Jewish  historians,  though  he  tries  to  account 
for  the  event  as  a  natural  phenomenon,  proves, 
by  80  doing,  that  the  fact  really  did  occur, 
and  that  it  is  impossible  to  deny  it.  After 
the  death  of  Julian,  the  emperors  who  suc- 
ceeded him  were  all,  by  profession,  Christian. 
Under  their  rule,  Jerusalem  became  the  object 
of  innumerable  pilgrimages  to  Christians, 
Jews,  and,  in  later  times,  Mahometans.  This 
age  of  pilgrimages,  which  began  1500  years 
ago,  is  interesting  to  look  back  upon,  espe- 
cially as  we  may  include  in  it  the  Crusades, 
which  were,  in  fact,  a  kind  of  warlike  pilgrim- 
age. In  those  early  times,  also,  an  immense 
number  of  pilgrims,  hermits,  and  monks  es- 
tablished themselves  at  Jerusalem  and  in  the 
neighbourhood ;  11,000  of  such  inhabitants  are 
said  to  have  stationed  themselves  in  cells  and 
caves  of  the  rock,  near  the  brook  Kedron. 
The  adoration  of  relics  increased  so  rapidly, 
and  the  disinterment  of  bones  in  the  Holy 
Land  was  carried  to  auch  an  absurd  extent, 
that  Gregory  Nazianzen,  Basil,  and  even 
Jerome,  were  compelled  to  raise  their  voices 
against  it. 


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98  JERUSALEM. 

During  the  reign  of  Justinian,  in  the  sixth 
century,  our  attention  is  again  drawn  to  the 
Jews  at  Jerusalem,  who,  with  the  Samaritans, 
raised  a  fearful  rebellion,  which  was  again 
crushed,  after  many  difficulties  and  much  loss 
of  life.  At  this  time,  the  city  itself  was  pros- 
pering, and  the  riches  and  luxury  of  its 
inhabitants  were  displayed  in  its  edifices. 

(a.d.  614.)  Under  Heraclius,  one  of  the  suc- 
cessors of  Justinian,  Chosroes,  King  of  Persia, 
who  inherited  the  animosity  which  the  Par- 
thians  had  formerly  exhibited  towards  the 
Roman  Empire,  appeared  with  a  great  army 
in  Palestine.  Jerusalem  was  soon  taken  by 
him,  amidst  the  plaudits  of  the  Jews,  ever  on 
friendly  terms  with  the  enemies  of  Kome  and 
the  Christians,  of  whom  90,000  are  said  to 
have  been  put  to  death.  In  the  year  629  He- 
raclius retook  the  Holy  City,  carried  back  the 
cross  to  the  church  at  Golgotha  on  his  shoul- 
ders, and  banished  the  Jews.  Ere  long,  how- 
ever, the  clouds  began  to  gather  for  a  fresh 
tempest,  which  threatened  to  overwhelm  both 
Jerusalem  and  the  Christian  Church.  Maho- 
met, the  false  prophet  of  Arabia,  was  laying 
the  foundation  of  his  new  religion,  and  pro- 
pagating an  imposture  which  yet  retained 
enough  of  truth  to  cause  his  followers  to  look 


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JERUSALEM.  99 

at  once  with  reverence  and  cupidity  upon  the 
spot  which  had  held  the  temple  of  Solomon 
and  the  tomh  of  Issa  (Jesus),  and  to  call  Jeru- 
salem the  noble,  the  blessed,  and  the  holy 
city,  the  house  of  the  sanctuary.  Mahomet 
himself  did  not  extend  his  conquests  so  far, 
but  his  successors  made  themselves  masters  of 
all  Palestine,  with  its  ancient  capital. 

In  the  year  a.d.  636,  the  white  banner 
of  the  false  prophet  floated  over  the  walls  of 
Jerusalem.  For  ten  days  the  Caliph  Omar 
had  assaulted  the  town,  which  was  defended 
by  Artabanus,  while  the  Patriarch  Sophro- 
nius  stirred  up  the  Christian  inhabitants  to  a 
bold  resistance.  By  the  treaty  of  capitulation, 
Christians  were  allowed  to  remain  in  the 
town,  but  subjected  to  humiliating  conditions. 
Omar  founded  a  mosque  upon  Mount  Moriah, 
and  even  thought  for  a  moment  of  making 
the  city  the  capital  of  his  caliphate ;  but  he 
eventually  returned  to  Medina,  and  Jerusalem 
remained,  as  before,  the  widowed  city. 

In  the  year  799,  we  find  Charlemagne  Em- 
peror over  Western  Christendom,  and  Haroun- 
al-Ilaschid  Caliph  of  Eastern  Mahometanism. 
The  Emperor  sent,  as  ambassador  to  the 
Caliph,  a  Jew,  of  the  name  of  Isaac,  well 
known  to  the  historians  of  his  time,   and 

p  2 


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100  JEKUSALEH. 

Al-Raschid  delivered  to  Charlemagne  the  keys 
of  the  holy  sepulchre.  Pilgrimages  to  Jerusalem 
were  undertaken  from  all  parts  of  Europe ; 
and  this  city  of  all  nations  became  known  as 
far  as  China. 

At  the  close  of  the  first  1000  years  after 
the  Christian  era,  the  relative  situation  of  the 
Christian  nations  of  Europe  and  the  Mahome- 
tan powers  of  Asia  was  entirely  changed.  At 
this  epoch,  looked  upon  by  many  as  the  time 
of  the  end,  the  sceptre  of  the  East  was  swayed 
by  Hakim  Beararillah,  the  Nero  of  the  Arabs ; 
who  ferociously  persecuted  both  Jews  and 
Christians,  leading  the  latter  to  believe  that 
he  was  indeed  the  Antichrist 

About  this  time,  a  desire  began  to  manifest 
itself  throughout  European  Christendom  to 
rescue  the  Holy  City  from  the  hands  of  the 
Infidels.  Towards  the  close  of  the  eleventh 
century,  when  the  power  of  the  Seldjukian 
Turks  had  succeeded  to  the  expiring  dominion 
of  the  two  Caliphates,  and  their  black  banner 
waved  over  the  City  of  Jerusalem,  the  first 
army  of  the  Crusaders  set  forth  for  the  Holy 
Land.  The  recital  of  all  that  the  hermit  Peter, 
and  thousands  of  other  pilgrims,  had  endured 
in  the  city  of  the  holy  sepulchre,  related  with 
zeal  and  indignation  in  all  parts  of  Europe, 


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JERUSALEM.  101 

touched  the  hearts  and  roused  the  spirit  of  all 
Christendom. 

The  proposition  of  Urban  11. ,  in  two  great 
Councils  held  at  Placentia  and  Clermont,  was 
received  with  the  cry,  "  It  is  the  will  of  God  ! 
It  is  the  will  of  God !"  An  instant  resolution 
was  made,  by  great  and  small,  princes,  nobles, 
monks,  freemen,  and  slaves,  to  bind  the  cross 
on  their  garments,  and  march  to  conquer  the 
Holy  City,  and  rescue  the  sacred  tomb  from 
the  hands  of  the  Infidels.  Nine  Crusades  were 
undertaken,  in  the  course  of  two  centuries, 
against  the  Mahometans  of  Asia  and  Africa ; 
which  were  important  in  their  results  to  the 
nations  of  the  West,  though  their  effects  in 
the  East  were  insignificant  and  transitory. 
We  will  not  enter  into  a  detailed  account  of 
the  Crusades,  but  in  imagination  cast  a  glance 
at  the  majestic  army  which  marched  from 
Europe,  in  the  year  1097,  enrolling  in  its 
ranks  the  flower  of  the  nobility  of  France, 
England,  and  Italy,  and  headed  by  the  noble* 
hearted  Godfrey  de  Bouillon,  of  whom  it  is 
recorded,  that  he  refused  to  wear  a  crown  of 
gold  where  his  Saviour  had  been  crowned  with 
thorns. 

The  Crusades  afford  an  instance  of  the  em- 
pire which  Jerusalem,   though  solitary  and 


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102  JERUSALEM. 

widowed,  maintained  over  the  heart  and  feel- 
ings of  the  nations :  and  we  shall  do  well  to 
notice  the  results  which  that  influence  pro- 
duced upon  the  Christian  states  of  Europe, 
especially  if  we  compare  it  with  what  was 
actually  effected  by  them  in  the  East.  There, 
indeed,  a  few  reminiscences,  a  few  ruined 
buildings,  are  all  that  have  survived! — while 
the  effects  produced  by  the  Crusades,  in  every 
department  of  political  and  social  life  in 
Europe,  have  become  matter  of  history.  Among 
the  attempts  which  characterize  that  age  as  a 
time  of  preparation  for  greater  things,  we  may 
observe  roads  and  canals  made  to  facilitate 
mutual  commercial  intercourse  between  na- 
tions, an  increased  knowledge  of  geography 
and  navigation,  and  a  general  impulse  given, 
which  urged  men  to  fresh  undertakings  and 
more  diligent  investigations.  The  bonds  of 
slavery  were  loosed,  and  citizens  and  yeomen 
rose  to  a  state  of  influence  and  prosperity. 
Many  heroic  qualities  were  then  displayed  by 
the, nobles,  drawn  forth  by  that  spirit  of  chi- 
valry which  distinguished  the  age,  and  which, 
though  not  exclusively  produced  by  the  Cru- 
sades, was  a  fruit  of  Northern  energy  ripened 
beneath  an  Oriental  sun. 

The  grand  military  orders,  which  especially 


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JERUSALEM.  103 

embody  the  spirit  of  the  age,  all  took  their 
rise  during  the  Crusades,  and  were  instituted 
in  Palestine:  hence  their  names,  as  the 
Knights  of  St.  John  of  Jerusalem,  the  Tem- 
plars, &c.  The  heraldry  of  the  European 
nobility,  though  perhaps  a  little  anterior  in 
its  origin,  was  subjected  to  form  and  rule 
during  the  time  of  the  Crusades.  We  may 
date  from  thence  the  frequent  use  of  the  lion 
and  the  cross  ;  the  one  bringing  to  mind  the 
ancient  banner  of  Judah — the  other  a  symbol 
of  the  Saviour's  deepest  humiliation,  borne  as  a 
mark  of  honour. 

We  have  mentioned,  that  just  before  the 
Crusades  began,  the  black  banner  of  the  Seld- 
jukian  Turks  was  raised  over  Jerusalem,  but 
the  Egyptian  Fatimites  retook  the  town  a 
little  before  its  siege  by  the  Crusaders. 

The  first  view  of  Jerusalem  from  the  summit 
of  that  Mount  of  Olives  from  whence  our 
Saviour  had  predicted  the  destruction  of  its 
city  and  temple,  produced  an  effect  upon  the 
hardest  and  most  hardened;  all  burst  into 
tears.  Even  the  beautiful  poetry  of  Tasso 
must  give  place  to  Jacques  de  Vitry's  touch- 
ing account  in  prose  "  of  the  Christian  Knight 
kneeling  in  an  ecstasy  of  devotion  at  the  sight 
of  the   city,  princess  of  nations,  hereditary 


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104  J£RU8ALEM. 

possession  of  the  patriarchs,  nurse  of  the  pro- 
phets, mother  of  the  faith,  cradle  of  salvation, 
honoured  hy  angels,  visited  hy  all  nations, 
chosen  and  sanctified  by  the  Saviour,  because 
there  he  himself  hath  stood." 

The  Crusaders  took  the  city  the  11th  of  June, 
of  the  year  1097,  and  attempted  to  establish  a 
kingdom  of  Jerusalem  on  its  site.  But  such 
a  kingdom,  founded  upon  the  principles  of  the 
feudal  system,  was  not  a  plant  "  which  the 
Lord  had  planted."  In  1187  the  Holy  Qty 
fell  again  into  the  hands  of  the  Mahometans, 
and  a  third  crusade  was  undertaken  to  recon- 
quer it  from  the  Kurds  under  Soliman,  brother 
of  Malek  Adhel ;  at  the  head  of  which  were 
Philip  Augustus  of  France,  Richard  Cceur 
de  Lion  of  England,  and  Frederic  Barbarossa. 
The  result  of  the  attempt  was  little  answerable 
to  the  valour  of  its  leaders.  In  the  succeeding 
century,  expectations  were  again  raised  by 
Frederic  IL,  to  be  again  disappointed.  He 
sought  the  conquest  of  Jerusalem  as  a  point 
of  honour  alone,  and  obtained  it  with  great 
concessions  on  the  side  of  the  Christians. 
Afterwards  the  town  was  repeatedly  captured 
and  re-captured  by  Saracens  and  Christians, 
till  the  year  1243,  when  it  fell  finally  into  the 
hands  of  the  Txirks.     European  enthusiasm  in 


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JERUSALEll.  105 

the  cause  had  by  that  time  so  entirely  evapo- 
rated, that  Louis  IX.  of  France  refused  a 
permission  to  visit  the  holy  sepulchre;  and 
two  centuries  after,  Philip  the  Good  of  Bur- 
gundy found  it  impossible  in  any  degree  to 
revive  a  crusading  spirit,  though  Constanti- 
nople itself  was  threatened  by  the  Turks. 

The  empty  title  of  "  King  of  Jerusalem  " 
remained  with  the  Crown  of  Sicily,  and  has 
passed  in  succession  by  marriage  to  the  king- 
doms of  Austria  and  Sardinia.  But  the  chil- 
dren of  the  kingdom — the  Jews, — what  had 
become  of  themt  The  Crusaders  usually 
commenced  their  expeditions  to  the  Holy 
Land  with  a  general  massacre  of  the  Jews; 
and  when  they  took  Jerusalem,  the  Israelites 
residing  in  it  became  a  chief  object  of  murder 
and  pillage. 

Jerusalem,  under  the  Turks,  continued 
accessible  both  to  Jews  and  Christians,  though 
the  attempt  to  visit  it  was  not  always  a  safe 
vone. 

In  1516,  Jerusalem  was  once  more  retaken 
by  its  ancient  masters  the  Ottomans,  under 
Selim  L,  and  from  that  time  it  has  formed  a 
part  of  the  pachalic  of  Damascus. 

Between  1649  and  1666,  a.d.,  a  false  Christ 
appeared  for  a  short  time  at  Jerusalem,  and 
F  3 


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106  JERUSALEM. 

drew  together  a  large  body  of  followers ;  but 
Sabbatai  Sevi  himself  dispelled  the  illusion, 
by  embracing  Islamism,  shortly  after  which 
he  was  put  to  death. 

As  lately  as  during  the  eighteenth  century, 
secret  chapters  were  held  at  Jerusalem,  and 
several  European  noblemen  created  Knights  of 
the  Holy  Sepulchre,  The  close  of  the  same 
century  beheld  Napoleon  passing  by  Jerusa- 
lem without  approaching  it,  in  his  expedition 
from  Egypt  into  Syria. 

The  nineteenth  century  presents  us  with  a 
fresh  series  of  travellers  in  the  East,  and 
visitors  to  Jerusalem.  Since  Chateaubriand, 
in  1806,  performed  a  pilgrimage  to  the  banks 
of  the  Jordan  in  the  style  of  a  knight-errant, 
hundreds  of  wanderers  have  followed  in  his 
steps,  and  have  echoed  the  sentiments  which 
he  noted  down  in  his  journal: — "At  the  first 
sight  of  Jerusalem,  every  reminiscence  of  its 
history  seemed  to  pass  in  review  before  me, 
from  the  time  of  Abraham  to  that  of  Godfrey  • 
de  Bouillon ;  the  site  of  the  temple  lay  before 
me,  but  not  one  stone  was  left  upon  another." 
Truly  imposing  is  the  aspect  which  the  city 
now  presents!  Its  buildings,  its  ruins,  and 
its  memorials,  connected  with  so  many  people, 
periods,    and    hallowed    associations!       The 


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JERU8ALEM.  107 

mosque  of  Omar  now  stands  where  once  was 
raised  the  temple  of  Solomon.  David's  tomb 
remains,  beside  a  convent  of  Minorites.  The 
site  of  Herod's  Palace  and  the  traditional 
abode  of  Pontius  Pilate  are  still  pointed  out, 
while  we  must  not  entirely  overlook  the  resi- 
dence of  the  Protestant  Bishop  of  Jerusalem, 
and  the  English  Church,  in  which  its  own 
services  are  read  in  the  Hebrew  tongue.  The 
Mahometans,  Christians,  and  Jews  have  each 
their  separate  quarter ;  here,  as  elsewhere,  the 
most  despised  and  miserable  belongs  to  the 
Jews.  Yes !  even  in  the  city  of  their  kings, 
the  children  of  the  kingdom  are  cast  into  outer 
darkness.  But  it  will  not  be  always  thus. 
Hear,  O  Israel,  the  words  of  your  Prophet, 
and  lay  to  heart,  O  Christians,  the  declaration 
of  your  Lord !  "  Jerusalem  shall  be  trodden 
down  of  the  Gentiles,  until  the  times  of  the 
Gentiles  be  fulfilled.'*    (Luke  xxi.  24.) 

1  For  Zion's  sake  I  will  not  hold  my  peace, 
Because  of  Jerusalem  I  will  not  rest, 

Until  her  righteousness  come  forth  with  brightness, 
And  her  salvation,  as  a  light  that  burneth. 

2  And  the  nations  shall  see  thy  righteousness, 
And  all  kings  thy  glory. 

A  new  name  is  given  to  thee, 

The  mouth  of  Jehovah  hath  proclaimed  it. 


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108  JERUSALEM. 

3  And  thou  shalt  be  a  crown  of  beauty  in  the  baud 

of  Jehovahj 
And  a  royal  diadem  in  the  hand  of  thy  God. 

4  Thou  shalt  no  more  be  spoken  of  as  a  forsaken  one, 
And  thy  land  shall  no  more  be  spoken  of  as  a 

desolation  ; 
But  thou  shalt  be  called  My  delight  is  in  her, 
And  thy  land  Married. 
For  Jehovah  delighteth  in  thee,  and  thy  land 

shall  be  married. 

5  As  a  young  man  marrieth  a  virgin, 
Shall  thy  builder-up  marry  thee. 

And  with  the  rejoicing  of  a  bridegroom  over  his 

bride, 
Shall  thy  God  rejoice  over  thee. 

6  I  have  set  a  watchman  upon  thy  walls,  O  Jeru- 

salem ! 
All  day  and  all  night  continuously  they  shall  not 
hold  their  peace. 

0  remembrancers  of  Jehovah,  let  there  be  no  rest 

to  you, 

7  And  give  no  rest  to  Him, 

Until  he  raise  up,  and  make  Jerusalem  a  praise 
in  the  land. 

8  Jehovah  hath  sworn  by  his  right  hand, 
And  by  the  arm  of  his  strength, 

1  will  no  more  make  thy  com  food  for  thine 

enemies. 
And  the  sons  of  the  strangers  shall  no  more  drink 
thy  new  wine,  for  which  thou  hast  laboured. 

9  But  those  that  reaped  it  shall  eat  it,  and  praise 

Jehovah. 


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JERUSALEM.  109 

And  those  that  have  laid  it  up  shall  drink  it  in 
the  courts  of  my  sanctuary. 

10  Pass — ^pass  through  the  gates ! 
Prepare  the  way  for  the  people ! 
Raise  up,  raise  up  the  highway ! 
Make  it  free  from  stones. 

Set  a  banner  on  high  above  the  nations ! 

1 1  Behold !   Jehovah  hath  proclaimed  it  to  the  ends 

of  the  earth. 
Say  to  the  daughter  of  Zion,  Behold  thy  salvation 

cometh ! 
Behold  his  reward  is  with  him ! 
His  work  before  him ! 

12  And  they  shall  call  thee  the  holy  people ; 
The  redeemed  of  Jehovah. 

And  thou  shalt  be  called  she  that  is  sought  for ^ 
A  city  not  forsaken. 

Isaiah  Ixii. 


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BOOK  11. 


INTRODUCTION. 


The  fall  of  Jerusalem  and  the  dispersion  of 
her  people  was  now  complete,  manifesting  an 
awful  accomplishment  of  the  words  of  the 
apostle,  "Behold  the  severity  of  God  upon 
them  which  fell."  (Rom.  xi.  22.)  The  fuU 
weight  of  judgment  brought  upon  the  chosen 
people  was  felt  even  in  the  light  in  which  the 
death-struggles  of  Judea  with  Rome  were 
viewed  by  succeeding  generations.  The  des- 
perate resistance  of  Carthage  and  Numantia, 
and  their  ineffectual  attempts  against  the  same 
Rome,  the  oppressor  of  the  world,  have  ever 
met  with  sympathy  and  applause.  Not  so 
Jerusalem,  and  the  Jewish  nation!  A  few 
partial  commendations  have  been  bestowed  by 
men  conversant  with  the  art  of  war,  upon  the 
defence  of  Jerifealem  and  many  of  the  Jewish 
fortresses,*  which  were  carried  on  with  admir. 

♦  "The    siege  of  Massada   by  the  Romans    (says 
the    Chevalier  Folard,  in    the    Appendix  to   Calmet's 


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INTEODUCTION.  Ill 

able  skill  and  bravery.  History  is  compelled, 
-mth  apparent  unwillingness,  to  bear  testimony 
to  the  bold  resistance  made  by  the  Jews  to  the 
dominion  of  Rome ;  *  and  this  forced  homage 
is  soon  lost  sight  of,  amid  the  hatred  felt  by 
all  for  the  unhappy  remnant  of  the  conquered 
people.  Who  among  Christians  even,  before 
our  days,  has  not  preferred  to  take  from  his 
Josephus  a  fresh  stone  to  cast  at  the  deeply 
humbled  nation,  rather  than  to  extract 
anything  from  its  pages  which  might  prove 

Dictionary,  Commentary  on  Polybius,  Attaque  et  Defense 
des  Flcu:eSy  iii.  63),  is  one  of  the  most  remarkable 
ever  recorded  in  history.  The  strength  and  advan- 
tageous situation  of  the  place,  the  courage  and  vigorous 
resistance  of  the  besieged,  the  valour  and  skill  of  the 
Roman  General,  all  combined  in  causing  an  erection  of 
works,  and  a  display  of  skill,  of  which  we  meet  with  few 
examples  in  ancient  history.  Even  in  modem  times,  the 
most  memorable  sieges  since  the  fourteenth  century  have 
afforded  nothing  to  equal  it. . . .  The  defence  of  Jerusalem 
and  that  of  Jotapata  are  still  more  worthy  of  admiration  ; 
indeed,  in  point  of  military  works  nothing  was  ever  pro- 
duced to  surpass  them.  It  was  a  masterpiece  of  Roman 
patience  and  intelligence,  while  the  skill  and  courage  of 
the  Jews  were  not  less  to  be  admired.  They  fought 
as  men  in  despair ;  but  they  put  in  practice  every 
resource  of  genius  and  art,  to  sell  their  lives  with  glory 
and  at  the  dearest  price." 

♦  Tacit.  Hist.  v.  10.     "  Augebat  iras  quod  soli  Judaei 
non  cessissent." 


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112  INTRODUCTION. 

the  Jewish  nation  to  be  in  any  degree  worthy 
of  admiration^  It  is  as  if  a  stigma,  like 
the  line  of  bastardy  in  heraldry,  was  drawn 
through  everything  belonging  to  Israel  that 
could  excite  either  interest  or  sympathy.  In 
this  was  manifest  the  severity  of  God  towards 
a  nation  fallen  on  account  of  their  sins ;  and 
this  sin  against  God  remained,  although,  look- 
ing upon  them  as  man  with  man,  we  must 
acknowledge  their  heroism,  and  even  the 
justice  of  their  cause.  Thus  does  the  injustice 
of  man  often  put  in  execution  the  just  decrees 
of  God. 

And  yet,  without  metropolis,  without  temple, 
without  country,  the  Jewish  people  continued 
a  nation,  after  all  the  events  we  have  related. 
This  wonderful  dispensation  was  in  itself  a  part 
of  God*s  dealings  with  them,  though  destined 
in  time  to  come  to  produce  a  quite  different 
result.  We  will  now  observe  the  means  em- 
ployed by  the  providence  of  God  to  effect  the 
national  preservation  of  Israel,  up  to  the 
present  time. 

Even  under  the  tyrannical  reign  of  Adrian 
the  Jews  steadily  observed  the  rite  of  circum- 
cision. As  disciples  of  Moses,  and  children  of 
the  prophets  and  sacred  writers,  they  at  all 
times  and  in  all  places  carried  with  them  their 


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TIBERIAS.  113 

Scriptures  in  the  original  language,  handing 
them  down  from  generation  to  generation.  They 
tried  to  make  amends  to  themselves  for  the 
loss  of  their  city  and  temple  in  various  ways ; 
and  manifested  afresh  their  remarkable  perse- 
verance of  character  and  ingenuity  of  mind  by 
the  measures  they  took  to  form  a  completely 
new  centre  of  nationality. 

Directly  after  the  triumph  of  Titus,  the 
great  council  of  the  Israelitish  Rabbins  was 
established  at  Tiberias,  in  Galilee.  The  school 
of  Scribes,  instituted  in  that  city,  soon  took  the 
place  of  that  Temple  whose  restoration  has 
never  ceased  to  be  the  object  of  their  hopes 
and  prayers.  The  celebrated  revolt  of  Bar 
Cochebas  and  Akiba  sprung,  in  great  measure, 
from  thence.  Tiberias  had  become  a  kind  of 
Jerusalem,  where,  instead  of  a  building  of  wood 
and  stone,  workmen  were  employed  in  construct- 
ing another  edifice,  which  has  now  endured  for 
many  centuries.  This  was  the  Mishna,  and 
eventually  the  Talmud ;  the  so-called  Oral  Law 
reduced  to  writing,  arranged,  commented  upon, 
and  explained;  which  became  in  the  course 
of  a  few  centuries  a  complete  Digest,  or  Ency- 
clopaedia, of  the  law,  the  religion  and  the 
nationality  of  the  Jews.  We  behold  in  the 
Mishna  and  Gemara  a  painful  yet  wonderful 


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114  MISHNA   AND   TALMUD. 

phenomenon.  The  very  "  traditions  of  the 
elders,"  against  which  our  Saviour  when  on 
earth  constantly  raised  his  voice — the  tradi- 
tions which  for  some  hundred  years  had  nulli- 
fied the  Word  of  God,  disguised  the  Law 
and  the  Prophets,  and  cast  a  veil  over 
the  predictions  which  were  fulfilled  in  Jesus 
Christ — these  same  traditions  were  built  up 
into  an  impenetrable  wall,  behind  which 
the  Israelite  should  continue  with  systematic 
obstinacy  to  shut  himself  out  from  belief  in 
his  King  and  Saviour. 

The  Oral  Law  contained  all  the  precepts 
which  (according  to  the  legends  of  the  Rab- 
bins) Moses  received  from  the  Lord,  during 
the  forty  days  he  remained  on  the  Mount, 
which  were  transmitted  by  Moses  to  Joshua, 
and  thus  handed  down  from  generation  to 
generation.  This  Oral  Law  (against  the  very 
nature  of  its  aim  and  destination,  as  the  Jews 
themselves  acknowledge)  was  committed  to 
writing  after  the  fall  of  Jerusalem.  The 
first  idea  of  such  an  undertaking  is  thought 
by  many  to  have  originated  with  the  Rabbi 
Akiba,  but  universal  tradition  attributes  both 
the  plan  and  its  accomplishment  to  Rabbi 
Judah  the  Holy  (Hakkadosh),  often  called,  for 
distinction's  sake,    the  JRabbi.     Born  in  the 


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THE  TALMUD.  115 

days  of  Adrian,  a  period  so  unpropitious  to  his 
countrymen,  he  held  in  Palestine  the  dignity  of 
Nasi  (or  prince),  that  is  to  say,  spiritual  head 
of  the  synagogues  in  that  country.  About  the 
year  a.d.  190,  he  completed  a  collection  of  all 
the  oral  or  traditional  commandments,  called 
the  Mishna,  or  Second  Law^  and  arranged  them 
in  the  form  of  six  treatises.  The  later  Rabbins 
have  exhausted  their  ingenuity  in  making 
commentaries  upon,  and  additions  to,  this  work. 
The  whole  collection  of  these  commentaries 
is  named  Gemara  (completeness).  With  the 
Mishna,  its  text  book,  it  forms  the  Talmuds ; 
of  these  the  Jerusalem  Talmud  is  the  prior  in 
date,  having  been  completed  towards  the  end 
of  the  third  century  in  Palestine;  while  the 
Babylonian  Talmud,  compiled  in  the  schools  of 
Babylon  and  Persia,  takes  its  date  from  the 
year  500. 

In  the  new  form  which  it  had  now  assumed, 
tradition  became  more  than  ever  the  veil  that 
hides  from  Israel  the  simple  meaning  of  the 
Old  Testament.  From  its  very  beginning  it 
had  been  raised  to  an  equality  with,  and  even 
above,  the  written  Word  of  God.  Expressions 
are  not  wanting  to  denote,  in  the  metaphorical 
language  of  the  Babbins,  this  fancied  su- 
periority. "  Holy  Scripture,"  says  a  Babbinical 


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116  THE   TALMUD. 

adage,  "  may  be  compared  to  fresh  water,  but 
the  Mishna  is  wine,  and  the  Gemara  refined 
wine."  Thus  the  religion  of  the  modern  Jews 
became,  in  its  very  essence,  pharisaical.  The 
Sadducees,  at  least  as  a  separate  and  numerous 
sect,  disappeared  soon  after  the  ruin  of  Jeru- 
salem. The  few  who  remained,  and  the  Ka- 
raites, a  later  sect,  who  recognise  the  authority 
of  Scripture  alone,  independent  of  all  tradi- 
tional interpretation,  have  never  succeeded  in 
displacing  the  system  of  Phariseeism,  which 
has  been  acknowledged  by  both  Jew  and 
Christian  to  be  the  only  modem  Judaism 
really  in  existence.  The  Talmud  became,  in 
the  opinion  of  the  dispersed  Jews,  as  inseparable 
a  part  of  their  religion  as  the  Church  of  Rome 
and  the  Pope  are,  in  the  eyes  of  Roman 
Catholics,  of  the  Christian  faith.  Romanism 
and  Rabbinism  are,  in  this  and  many  other 
points,  very  nearly  connected. 

Still  Christians  will  not  find  these  Talmuds 
entirely  useless  and  unworthy  of  notice.  As 
presenting  a  faithful  transcript  of  the  Jewish 
mind  in  the  first  centuries  of  Christianity,  and 
as  documents  containing  innumerable  details 
which  throw  light  upon  the  manners,  customs, 
antiquities,  and  social  relations  of  the  Jews, 
the  Talmud   is  a  most   curious    monument* 


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THE  TALMUD.  117 

raised  with  astonishing  labour,  yet  made  up  of 
puerilities.  like  the  present  position  of  the 
Jew,  away  from  his  country,  far  from  his 
Messiah,  and  in  disobedience  to  his  God,  the 
Talmud  itself  is  a  chaos,  in  which  the  most 
opposite  elements  are  found  in  juxtaposition. 
It  is  a  book  which  seems  in  some  parts  entirely 
devoid  of  common  sense,  and  in  others  filled 
with  deep  meaning,  abounding  with  absurd 
subtleties  and  legdljinessej  full  of  foolish  tales, 
and  wild  imaginations;  but  also  containing 
aphorisms  and  parables,  which,  except  in  their 
lack  of  the  simple  and  sublime  character  of 
Holy. Writ,  resemble  in  a  degree  the  parables 
and  sentences  of  the  New  Testament. 

The  Talmud  is  an  immense  heap  of  rubbish, 
at  the  bottom  of  which  a  few  bright  pearls  of 
Eastern  wisdom  are  to  be  found.  No  book 
has  ever  expressed  more  faithfully  the  spirit  of 
its  authors.  This  we  notice  the  more,  when 
comparing  the  Talmud  with  the  Bible; — the 
Bible,  that  Book  of  books,  given  to,  and  by 
means  of  the  Israel  of  God ; — the  Talmud,  the 
book  composed  by  Israel  without  their  God,  in 
the  time  of  their  dispersion,  their  misery,  and 
their  degeneracy.  The  Talmud  is  not  the 
only  national  work  of  which  the  Jews,  during 
their  present  captivity,  can  boast;  from  the 


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118  MASOBAH   AKD   CABBALA. 

very  first  we  find  ranked  witli  it  two  other 
works  of  tradition  —  the  "Masorah,"  and 
"Cabbala." 

The  Masorah  is  well  known,  on  account  of 
the  great  service  it  has  rendered  in  the  pre- 
servation and  critical  knowledge  of  the  Old 
Testament,  by  its  vowels,  accents,  and  notes. 
This  is  not  the  less  valuable,  even  though  its 
authors  have  also  bestowed  much  useless 
labour  upon  numbering  each  verse,  each  word, 
and  even  each  letter  of  the  Bible ;  and  have 
derived  many  wild  and  absurd  meanings  from 
the  insertion  of  a  larger  or  smaller  letter  in 
the  text,  or  a  greater  or  less  space  between 
the  chapters. 

The  science  of  the  Cabbala  is  a  species  of 
Oriental  "  Theosophy^''  by  which  all  kinds  of 
mystical  fancies  and  even  magical  powers 
were  deduced  from  the  words,  letters,  and 
numbers  of  Scripture:  it  is  composed  of  a 
mass  of  futilities,  through  which,  however, 
shine  some  rays  of  bright  Scriptural  and  even 
Evangelical  light. 

The  sons  of  Israel  then,  entered  upon  the 
many  centuries  of  their  dispersion,  armed  with 
this  triple  panoply  of  tradition,  and  by  its 
means  preserved  their  nationality  through  the 
time  of  their  deepest  humiliation  and  misery. 


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CAPTITITY  IN  THE  EAST  AND  WEST.       119 

The  dispersed  Jews,  even  before  the  fall  of 
Jerusalem,  had  classed  themselves  under  three 
different  designations.  The  Eabbins  under- 
stand by  the  "Captivity  of  the  East,"  the 
remains  of  the  ten  tribes;  by  that  "  of  Egypt," 
the  Jews  under  the  dominion  of  the  Ptolemies, 
particularly  those  of  Alexandria;  by  that  "of 
the  West,"  the  Jews  dispersed  over  every  part 
of  the  Roman  Empire. 

In  the  sketch  we  shall  give,  we  need  only 
a  twofold  division.  With  the  history  of  the 
dispersion  and  fate  of  Israel  in  the  East,  and 
in  the  West,  in  Asia,  and  in  Europe,  are  con- 
nected the  annals  of  the  wandering  and  suffer- 
ing Jews  in  all  parts  of  the  world.  Both  in 
the  East  and  West,  but  especially  in  Europe, 
their  history  records  little  else  than  a  con- 
tinuation  of  misery,  humiliation,  and  degene- 
racy. Yet  we  must  not  imagine  that  the 
Jews  fell  at  once  into  this  condition.  History 
shows  us  that  the  judgment  of  God  upon 
great  cities,  condemned  on  account  of  their 
sins,  advances  upon  them  slowly  and  by 
degrees,  till  the  time  of  its  complete  accom- 
plishment. It  has  been  the  same  with  the 
prophecies  against  rebellious  and  unbelieving 
Israel.  Because  pf  their  sins^  (as  they  them- 
selves confess  at  great  length  in  their  daily 


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120         THE  JEWS  IN  THE  ROMAN  EMPIRE. 

prayers,  only  omitting  the  greatest  of  all  sins — 
their  rejection  of  the  Saviour)  judgment  has 
come  upon  them  gradually,  waxing  stronger 
and  stronger,  and  fulfilling  more  and  more  ex- 
actly to  the  letter  the  prophecies  of  the  Lord. 
In  the  Roman  Empire,  after  the  reign  of 
Vespasian  and  Adrian,  the  position  of  the  Jews 
was  not  only  tolerable,  but  in  many  respects 
prosperous.  Until  the  time  of  Constantine's 
reign  and  conversion,  we  find  them  in  general 
honoured  and  distinguished,  rather  than  de- 
spised or  oppressed.  They  are  often  noticed 
as  having  obtained  considerable  influence  over 
the  people,  and  at  the  court ;  which  they  made 
use  of  to  the  disadvantage  of  Christianity, 
equally  an  object  of  hatred  to  the  Jew  and  the 
Roman.  The  Emperor  Caracalla's  favourite 
was  a  Jew — Alexander  Severus ;  the  Emperor, 
who  erected  a  temple  in  honour  of  all  deities 
and  heroes,  including  both  Abraham  and 
Jesus  Christ,  added  to  his  titles  that  of  "  Ruler 
of  the  Synagogue."  The  Emperor  Decius, 
when  enacting  a  bloody  edict  against  the 
Christians,  commanded  the  Roman  proconsuls 
and  pontifices  to  spare  the  Jewish  synagogues. 
It  is  said  that  the  persecution  of  the  Christians 
under  the  Emperor  Yalentinian  originated  in 
the  influence  exercised  by  an  Egyptian  Ruler 


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THB  JEWS   IN   THE  BOMAN   EMFIBK      121 

of  the  Synagogue.  Be  this  as  it  may,  after 
the  days  of  Titus,  Trajan,  and  Adrian,  the 
feelings  of  the  Gentiles,  especially  of  their  phi- 
losophers, were  entirely  changed  with  regard 
to  the  Jews.  Moses  and  the  Law  were  appre- 
ciated and  honoured,  amid  a  system  of 
Paganism,  which  could  not  maintain  its 
ground  without  a  struggle  in  the  minds  of 
such  men  as  Plotinus,  Porphyry,  and  Jamhli- 
cus.  On  their  side,  also,  many  of  the  Jews 
had  long  ceased  to  ohject  to  the  alliance,  and 
even  the  intermixture  of  their  sacred  writings, 
with  the  philosophy  of  Pythagoras  and  Plato, 
the  poetry  of  Homer,  and  the  traditions  of 
Herodotus. 

We  shall  not,  then,  be  surprised  to  find  the 
Kabbins  speaking  of  this  period  with  some 
satisfiiction,  and  appljring  to  it  the  passage  of 
Daniel,  '^  Now  when  they  shall  &11,  they  shall 
be  holpen  with  a  little  help."  •  Nor  is  it  to 
be  wondered  at,  that  the  Jews  should  look  on 
with  a  kind  of  triumph,  and  in  their  hatred  to 
Christianity  behold  with  joy  the  disciples  of 
Jesus  compelled  to  assemble  in  the  catacombs, 
while  their  synagogues  existed  and  flourished 
in  every  part  of  the  territory  of  Edom,  and 
iheir  schools  at  Jamnia  and  Tiberias  increased 
*  DaD.  zL  34. 
G 


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122   THE  JEW8  IN  THE  SOMAN  EMPIRE 

in  authority  and  power,  under  the  acknow- 
ledged rule  of  a  patriarch  of  the  nation. 

A  complete  reverse  took  place,  when  the 
Emperor  of  Rome  knelt  before  the  Cross,  and 
the  Empire  became  a  Christian  state.  From 
this  epoch  we  may  date  the  first  period  of 
humiliation,  during  which  the  Jews  were 
visibly  sinking  into  a  state  of  continually  pro- 
gressive oppression  and  misery.  The  second 
marked  period  in  their  state  of  moral  and 
political  degradation  extends  from  the  com- 
mencement of  the  middle  ages  to  the  death 
of  Charlemagne,  and  the  incursions  of  the 
Normans  in  Europe.  This  period,  which 
closes  with  the  discovery  of  America,  the 
reign  of  Charles  Y.,  and  the  Reformation, 
was  for  the  Jews  over  the  whole  world,  with 
the  single  exception  of  those  in  Spain  and 
Portugal,  a  time  of  the  deepest  misery,  oppres- 
sion, and  decay.  Thus  the  period  of  cruel 
oppression  of  the  Jews  in  the  West  began  with 
the  triumph  of  Christianity  over  Paganism, 
just  as  in  the  East,  three  centuries  later,  it 
may  be  dated  from  the  rise  and  triumph  of 
the  Mahometan  power.  The  combination  of 
events  is  striking.  From  the  midst  of  that 
very  Jerusalem,  which  the  iron  arm  of  Rome 
had  crushed,  arose  the  Gospel,  whose  spiritual 


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TTNDEB   C0N8TANTIME.  123 

weapons  should  in  a  few  years  gain  the  victory 
over  Rome. 

A  poet  of  that  period  complains  of  the  great 
inflaence  possessed  by  the  conqaered  Jews 
over  their  !Roman  conquerors.*  In  a  higher 
sense  than  he  imagined,  this  was  indeed  the 
case,  for  the  Gospel^  which  sprung  from  the 
JewSy  had  gained  possession  of  the  heights  and 
strongholds  of  Rome.  From  that  moment, 
however,  an  entire  change  took  place  in  the 
relation  subsisting  between  the  Roman  Empire 
and  people;  i.e.,  the  Christians  and  the  Jews, 
enemies  of  the  Oospel. 

At  the  fall  of  Jerusalem,  and  the  disappear- 
ance of  Israel  as  inhabitants  of  the  land  of 
their  fitthers,  the  last  Mnk  was  broken  which 
bound  the  Christian  Church  to  the  people 
jErom  whom  it  sprung.  The  Jewish  Christians 
became  an  insignificant  sect,  or  were  merged 
in  the  Church  of  the  Oentiles,  whose  "  times 
had  begun.'*  From  that  epoch  we  find  Judaism 
directly  and  decidedly  opposed  to  Christianity 
and  its  professors;  and  a  great  share  was 
taken  by  Jews  in  the  persecutions  of  the 
Christians  by  Pagan  Rome.  We  may  give  as 
an  instance  the  martyrdom  of  the  venerable 
Polycarp,  in  the  time  of  the  Emperor  Marcus 
*  'VicioTesqae  suos  natio  victa  premit— >iRt<<iKtt#. 
G  2 


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124   THE  JEWS  IN  THE  BOMAK  EMPIRE 

Amelias.    Their  position,  as  we  have  already 
said,  changed  entirely  after  the  conyersion  of 
Constantine.    The  Jews  then  became  a  con- 
demned and  persecuted  sect.    The  equality  of 
rights  to  which  they  had  been  admitted  under 
the  pagan  emperors  was  by  degrees  restricted, 
their  admission  to  civil  and  military  dignities 
first  limited  to  the  more  onerous  posts,  and  at 
length  entirely  forbidden.     A  gleam  of  hope 
shone  upon  them  in  the  days  of  Julian  the 
Apostate,  but  they  were  only  the  more  ill- 
treated  under  his  Christian  successors.     Till 
the  reign  of  Theodosius,  in  the  fourth  century, 
however,  their  position  in  the  Empire  was 
such  as  could  well  be  borne.     In  the  C!ode  of 
Theodosius  II.  their  patriarchs  and  rulers  of 
the  synagogue  are  made  honourable  mention 
of,  and  entitied  **  Viri  spectaHssimt  illustres^ 
clarisstmi.''    Entire  liberty  and  protection  was 
granted  them  in  the  observance  of  their  cere- 
monies, their  feasts,  and  their  Sabbaths.  Their 
synagogues  were  protected  by  law  against  the 
fanatics,  who,  in  some  parts  of  Asia  and  Italy, 
attacked  and  set  them  on  fire.    Throughout 
the  Empire,  the  property  of  the  Jews,  their 
slaves,  and  their  lands,  were  secured  to  them ; 
only  the  Christians  were  exhorted  to  hold  no 
intercourse  with  the  unbelieving  people,  and 


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AFTER   CONST ANTINE.  125 

to  beware  of  the  doctrines  of  the  synagogue. 
The  laws,  however,  could  not  prevent  the  zeal 
of  several  bishops  from  sturring  up  and  encou- 
raging the  hatred  of  the  populace  against  the 
Jews.  Even  Ambrose  imputed  as  a  crime  to 
the  Emperor  Theodosius  that  he  had  sentenced 
some  Asiatic  bishops  and  monks  to  rebuild,  at 
their  own  expense,  a  synagogue  which  they 
had  demolished  I 

The  fifth  century  proved  yet  more  disastrous 
to  the  Jews.  The  Roman  Empire  had,  from 
the  year  395,  been  divided  into  the  Eastern,  or 
Greek  Empire,  of  which  Constantinople  was 
the  capital ;  and  the  Western  Empire,  of  which 
Some  and  Italy  still  formed  the  centre.  In 
both  these  divisions  the  position  and  treatment 
of  the  Jews  became  worse  and  worse.  The 
guides  of  the  Christian  Church,  and  still  more 
the  common  people,  retained  but  a  faint  im- 
pression of  the  Gospel-promise  to  Israel,  of 
their  national  conversion  in  the  latter  days ;  at 
least,  they  had  entirely  forgotten  the  expres^ 
sion  joined  to  that  promise,  ^^  beloved  for  the 
fathers'  sake:'  ♦  The  Fathers  of  the  Church, 
such  as  Augustine,  Chrysostom,  and  Jerome, 
in  their  application  of  the  Old  Testament  to 
the  case  of  the  Jews,  confined  themselves  to 
*  Bom.  xi.  28. 


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126     THE  BOMAN  EMPIBE  AFTEB  CONSTANTINE. 

its  threatenings,  even  though  the  Romish 
Church  down  to  the  present  day  offers  special 
prayer  for  their  conversion. 

In  the  time,  however,  of  the  Fathers  whom 
we  have  mentioned,  great  attention  was  still 
paid  to  the  ancient  language  of  Israel,  and 
more  than  one  learned  ecclesiastic  had  recourse 
to  a  Jewish  Eabhi  as  his  instructor. 

In  the  West,  even  under  Honorius,  its  first 
Emperor,  oppressive  laws  began  to  be  put  in 
force  against  the  Jews.  During  this  century, 
Church  history  boasts  of  the  conversion  of  a 
great  number  of  Jews  in  the  islands  of  Minorca 
and  Candia.  In  the  year  471,  the  downfall  of 
the  old  Roman  Empire  in  the  West  soon 
brought  the  Jews  into  contact  with  the  people 
of  the  North,  who  had  already  begun  to  over- 
run Southern  Europe,  to  renew  its  population, 
and  to  form  new  states,  destined  to  continue 
for  many  successive  centuries. 

In  the  East^  that  is  to  say,  in  the  eastern 
part  of  the  Roman  Empire,  soon  after  called 
the  Empire  of  Oreece,  or  Byzantium,  the 
position  of  the  Jews  became  particuleirly  un- 
favourable. The  honours  paid  by  Arcadius 
(in  the  fifth  century)  to  the  holy  men  of  the 
Old  Testament,  conferred  little  benefit  on  their 
natural   descendants.      The  Emperor   trans- 


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THE   JEWS    IN   THE  GBEEK   EMPIRE.       127 

ported  what  were  considered  to  be  the  remains 
of  the  Prophet  Samael  from  Judea  to  Thrace. 
A  multitude,  both  of  Jews  and  Christians, 
joined  the  festive  procession,  and  when  the 
golden  urn  containing  the  ashes  was  carried 
through  the  Jewish  quarter  at  Constantinople, 
there  also  the  houses  were  adorned  with  flowers 
and  garlands.  Judaism,  however,  continued 
at  this  very  time  to  be  detested,  especially 
because  of  the  influence  which  the  synagogue 
was  reputed  to  have  had  upon  Nestorius  and 
his  heresy. 

The  Government  of  the  Emperor  Justin, 
and  Code  of  Justinian,  soon  permanently  fixed 
the  social  relations  of  the  Jews  in  the  Byzan- 
tine Empire.  Justin  (a.d.  623)  excluded  all 
Jews,  Samaritans,  and  Pagans,  from  holding 
any  office  or  dignity  in  the  State.  In  the 
reign  of  Justinian,  the  enactments  against  the 
Jews  were  confirmed,  and  made  more  onerous. 
The  Emperor,  laying  it  down  as  a  principle 
that  civil  rights  coidd  only  belong  to  those 
who  professed  the  orthodox  faith,  entirely 
excluded  the  Jews  in  his  Code  (codex)  and  his 
edicts  (novellee).  Anything  which  could  in 
the  least  interfere  with  the  festivals  of  the 
Christian  Church  was  strictly  forbidden  them, 
all  discussion  with  Christians  looked  upon  as 


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128      THE   JEWS    IN   THE   GREEK   EBIFIRE. 

a  crime,  and  proselytism  punished  with  death. 
Even  their  right  of  holding  property  was  re- 
stricted in  many  ways,  especially  in  the  matter 
of  wills.  The  Emperor  declared  himself  with 
especial  severity  ^against  the  traditions  and 
precepts  of  the  Talmud. 

No  wonder,  then,  that  during  the  reign  of 
Justinian  many  rebellions  broke  out  among 
his  Jewish  subjects, — the  dying  throes,  as  it 
were,  of  their  national  existence.  Already,  in 
530,  a  false  Messiah,  named  Julianus,  arose, 
who  was  beheaded  a  year  or  two  after,  and 
his  followers  dispersed.  Some  years  later,  in 
566,  a  terrible  insurrection  of  the  Jews  and 
Samaritans  broke  out  at  Cesarea;  but  such 
severe  penalties  were  inflicted  as  to  render  a 
repetition  of  it  almost  impossible.  Once  more 
only,  during  the  reign  of  Justinian,  a  fearful 
commotion  was  caused  at  Constantinople  by 
the  sight  of  the  sacred  vessels,  spoils  irom  the 
Temple  at  Jerusalem,  which,  having  been 
carried  to  Rome  by  Titus,  were  removed  into 
Africa  when  Rome  was  stormed  by  Genseric, 
and  finally  brought  by  Belisarius  (a.d.  636), 
to  the  capital  of  the  Oreek  Empire.  So  violent 
was  the  outbreak  of  feeling  on  this  occasion, 
that  the  Emperor  was  obliged  to  send  the 
holy  vessels  from  Constantinople  to  Jerusalem ; 


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THB  JEWS  IN   THE   GREEK  EMFIBE*      129 

since  which  time  all  trace  of  these  relics  has 
been  lost 

From  the  reign  of  Justinian,  the  position  of 
the  Jews  in  the  Greek  Empire  became  such  as 
to  prevent  their  possessing  any  degree  of  po» 
litical  importance.  Yet  their  theological  and 
masoretic  studies  were  still  carried  on  with 
diligence  in  the  country  of  their  fathers, 
(which,  together  with  Syria,  was  included  in 
this  portion  of  the  empire,)  and  in  the  city  of 
Tiberias,  from  which  the  Mishna  had  for« 
merly  been  propagated.  But  even  there  the 
last  surviving  gleam  of  their  ancient  glory 
was  soon  extinguished.  From  the  year  429, 
the  dignity  of  patriarch  ceased  to  exist,  and 
thus  the  link  was  broken  which  connected  the 
different  synagogues  of  the  Eastern  Empire- 
Many  Jews,  devoted  to  the  study  of  the  Tal* 
mud,  quitted  Palestine  and  the  Byzantine 
Empire  to  seek  refuge  in  Persia  and  Baby- 
lonia, where  more  £Eivour  was  shown  to  the 
Israelite.  When,  many  centuries  after, 
(a.d.  1455,)  Constantinople  fell  into  the 
hands  of  the  Turks,  some  of  the  Jewish  exiles 
from  Spain  and  Portugal  took  refuge  in  the 
ancient  capital  of  the  Eastern  Empire,  where 
the  number  of  their  descendants  is  now 
considerable. 

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130  THE  JEWS   IN 

In  the  far  East,  beyond  the  bonndariea  of 
the  Grecian  Empire,  the  Jews  continued  in 
a,  comparatively  speaking,  prosperous  condi- 
tion, until  the  triumph  of  the  Koran  was 
complete.  One  consequence  of  the  emigra* 
tion  of  learned  Kabbins  and  youthful  students 
from  the  Holy  Land  to  the  schools  of  Babylon 
and  Persia,  which  took  place  in  the  fifth  cen- 
tury, was,  that  revision  and  extension  of  the 
Gemara  which  bears  the  name  of  the  Baby- 
lonian Talmud  (a.d.  500). 

The  proper  title  of  the  Patriarch  of  Baby- 
lon was  B^sh-Glutha,  prince,  or  chief  of  the 
captivity.  We  find  indications  of  the  exist- 
ence of  such  a  title  as  early  as  the  second 
century.  The  office  of  Resh-Glutha  was  at 
first  rather  that  of  a  civil  governor  than  an 
ecclesiastical  superior ;  for  his  situation  placed 
him  in  a  position  to  mediate  between  the 
heads  of  the  synagogue  and  the  Persian  or 
Parthian  kings.  The  dignity  itself  took  its 
rise  while  the  Parthians  reigned  in  Persia; 
but  it  continued  under  the  new  dynasty  of  the 
Sassanides,  and  only  came  to  an  end  many 
years  later,  under  the  dominion  of  the  caliphs. 
The  position  implied  something  of  worldly 
state,  resembling  that  of  a  Viceroy,  who  had 
under  him  the  Babbins  of  the  different  syna- 


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PEB8IA   AND   BABYLONIA.  181 

gogues,  like  dependent  satraps.  When  the 
Babylonian  Talmud  was  completed,  those  who 
held  this  dignity  were  no  longer  connected 
with  any  religious  office,  and  were  often  pos- 
sessed with  a  more  or  less  hostile  feeling 
towards  theologians.  The  office  was  pur- 
chased for  a  certain  sum  of  money  from  the 
kings  of  Persia,  and  subsequently  from  the 
Mahometan  caliphs,  though  tradition  relates, 
that  it  long  remained  in  a  family  sprung  from 
the  house  of  David.  The  dignity  of  Besh- 
Glutha  ceased  entirely  towards  the  middle  of 
the  eleventh  century,  in  the  person  of  Hizkiah, 
slain  by  the  redoubted  caliph,  Beamrillah. 
A  shadow  of  the  office  seems  to  have  remained 
in  the  East  in  the  twelfth  century;  and  in 
Spain,  among  many  other  hereditary  remi- 
niscences of  the  Babylonian  Jews,  we  find  in 
the  middle  ages  the  "  Prince  of  the  Captivity" 
bearing  the  title  of  "  Babbino-Mayor." 

The  great  mass  of  the  Jewish  population  in 
Persia  and  Babylon  had,  no  doubt,  remained 
there  from  the  time  of  their  removal  by 
Nebuchadnezzar.  We  have  noticed,  in  a 
former  part  of  the  book,  how  large  a  portion 
of  the  Jews  neglected  to  avail  themselves  of 
the  permission  granted  by  Cyrus  to  return  to 
Jerusalem,  and  to  rebuild  the  Temple.     We 


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133      THE  JEWS   IN  FEB8IA   AND  BABYLONIA. 

see  also  by  the  Book  of  Esther,  that  in  the 
reign  of  Ahasaerus  they  were  both  numerous 
and  powerful.  Several  firesh  colonies  joined 
them  even  before  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem 
by  Titus,  and  many  more  after  that  epoch. 

We  have  also  noticed  before,  that  a  common 
hatred  of  the  dominion  of  Rome  naturally  led 
to  a  warm  fellow-feeling  between  the  Jews  and 
the  kingdom  of  Parthia,  which,  in  the  year 
A.D.  230,  made  way  for  a  new  or  second 
Persian  kingdom,  when  Artaxerxes,  a  Persian 
descendant  of  Sassan,  (from  whom  the  dynasty 
of  the  Sassanides  took  its  name,)  made  him- 
self master  of  the  throne  of  the  Parthian 
Arsacidae.  This  Artaxerxes  (Ardscher  Babe- 
gan),  famed  in  Boman  history  on  account  of 
the  war  carried  on  in  Asia  between  him  and 
Alexander  Severus,  was  the  father  of  Sapor 
(Schabur),  a  still  more  deadly  enemy  of  the 
Boman  name.  Both  these  princes  are  men- 
tioned as  having  been  friends  and  favourers  of 
the  Jews  in  their  dominions.  Three  centuries 
later,  Chosroes  I.,  sumamed  the  Great,  in  the 
fiflh  year  of  the  reign  of  Justinian  (a.d.  531), 
encouraged  by  joint  promises  of  assistance 
from  the  Jews  and  Samaritans,  declared  war 
against  the  Byzantine  Empire.  Their  hopes 
were,  however,  for  the  present,  crushed,  by  a 


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THE  JEWS   IK  PK18IA.  138 

brilliant  victory  gained  by  the  Romans. 
Choo^oes  IL,  grandson  of  the  former,  made 
war  against  Heraclins  with  better  success. 
The  result  of  this  campaign,  in  which  his 
army  was  reinforced  by  a  body  of  25,000  Jews^ 
was  the  capture  of  Jerusalem  (a.d.  625); 
which  was,  however,  retaken  by  Heraclius  four 
years  later.  From  that  time  we  find  no  more 
mention  of  the  Jews  in  connexion  with  the 
military  exploits  of  the  Parthians.  When 
this  kingdom  also  fell,  in  process  of  time,  into 
the  hands  of  the  caliphs,  the  Jews  met  by 
turns  with  good  and  ill  treatment  from  their 
new  rulers.  The  Abassides  generally  looked 
with  fstvour  upon  the  learned  men  of  the 
Jewish  nation.  The  physician  of  the  Caliph 
Almawjor,  for  instance,  was  a  Jew.  Less 
fortunate  under  his  successors,  the  Jews  were 
again  protected  and  raised  in  position  by 
Haroun-al-Baschid,  the  noble  contemporary  of 
Charlemagne,  in  the  eighth  century.  Afrer 
his  time,  they  had  much  to  suffer  from  the 
vexatious  imposition  of  taxes  and  fines.  The 
downfall  of  the  caliphs  brought  no  favourable 
change  to  the  Jews;  their  troubles,  on  the 
contrary,  were  so  greatly  increased,  that  the 
celebrated  schools  at  Pumbeditha  and  Sora  at 
length  entirely  disappeared,  and  the  succession 


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134  THE  JEWS   m  ABABIA. 

of  their  learned  men  was  continued  henceforth 
in  Spain.  Thus  the  rise  of  the  Mahometan 
power  in  Asia  gave  the  signal  that  the  time 
for  their  greatest  oppression  and  degradation 
in  the  East  also  was  arrived. 

The  Peninsula  of  Arabia,  of  which  the 
northern  part  (Arabia  Fetrea)  is  associated  in 
the  Bible  with  the  wanderings  of  the  Israelites, 
has  gained  since  the  seventh  century  universal 
celebrity.  From  the  midst  of  that  country, 
the  descendants  of  Ishmael  rushed  in  every 
direction  over  the  then  known  and  civilized 
world,  to  pursue  their  fanatical  conquests. 
In  the  regions  of  Arabia,  Israelites  also  had 
dwelt  from  time  immemorial,  and  they  con- 
tinued numerous  and  powerful  until  the  rise 
of  Mahomet,  and  the  propagation  of  his  doc« 
trines.  Before  Mahomet's  time,  the  Arabs 
had  always  remained  a  people  apart,  whom 
even  Alexander  and  the  !Romans  had  passed 
by,  or  attacked  in  skirmishes  only.  They 
were  divided  into  two  great  branches;  the 
Bedouins  of  the  desert,  who  assert  their 
special  claim  to  be  the  descendants  of  Ishmael, 
the  son  of  Abraham  and  Hagar,  and  the 
inhabitants  of  the  cities,  who  had  for  ages 
been  engaged  in  commerce,  conveying  their 
merchandise    in    caravans    from    India   and 


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THE   JEWS   IN   ARABIA.  135 

Persia  to  the  westernmost  extremity  of  Asia. 
When  Mahomet  first  appeared,  the  population 
of  the  Peninsula  consisted  of  Jews,  Christians, 
worshippers  of  the  sun  after  the  manner  of 
the  Persians,  and  a  sect  professing  Ish« 
maelitism,  a  corrupt  and  degenerate  ofiset  of 
the  religion  of  Abraham. 

The  Jewish  inhabitants  of  Arabia  date  their 
establishment  in  the  country,  according  to 
some,  from  the  visit  of  the  Queen  of  Sheba  to 
Solomon.  In  the  history  of  the  Peninsula, 
before  the  time  of  Mahomet,  we  find  them 
spoken  of  as  numerous,  free,  and  powerful, 
holding  castles  and  fortresses,  and  forming, 
consequently,  a  marked  feature  in  the  Arabian 
population.  History  even  mentions,  with  cer«r 
tainty  as  to  the  fact,  though  with  great  ob- 
scurity as  to  the  details,  the  existence  in 
Arabia  of  a  Jewish  kingdom  under  Jewish 
kings.  About  150  years  before  the  Christian 
era,  we  find  mention  made  of  Abu  Caab  Asaad, 
a  Jew  either  by  birth  or  religion,  as  a  contem- 
porary  of  John  Hyrcanus  at  Jerusalem.  He 
is  reckoned  as  the  thirty-third  king  of  the 
Joktanides,  called  in  Yemen,  Sabeers,  or 
Homentes. 

It  is  a  fact,  incontestably  proved,  that  in 
much  later  times  Jewish  kings  have  reigned 


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136  THE  JEWS   AND   KAHOMET. 

in  Arabia.  The  last  king  of  Yemen,  Du- 
naan,  or  Dhu-Nowas,  in  the  sixth  century, 
was  a  Jew. 

When  Mahomet  made  his  appearance,  at 
first  only  as  a  poet  and  reformer,  he  found  the 
Arabian  Jews  in  general  fitvourably  disposed 
towards  him.  Some  of  these  tribes,  Jews  both 
by  religion  and  birth,  as,  for  example,  the 
KasErady,  Al  Aws,  Koreidha,  and  Al  Nadir, 
who  all  trace  their  origin  to  Harun  Ibn  Amram 
(Aaron,  the  son  of  Amram),  ranged  them- 
selves  on  his  side,  and  he  bestowed  upon  them 
the  name  of  **  Auxiliaries.'*  He  even  modided 
some  of  his  precepts  out  of  consideration  for 
the  Jews  of  Medina.  They  soon  ceased, 
however,  to  look  upon  him  as  a  prophet  sent 
from  God,  because  he  did  not  preserve  all  the 
institutions  of  Moses,  and  was  not  descended 
from  the  house  of  David.  If  this  be  true,  it 
would  seem  to  prove  that  the  Jews  in  that 
country  had  thought  for  a  moment  that  Ma^ 
homet  might  possibly  be  the  Messiah.  From 
that  time  (624),  war  broke  out  between  Ma- 
homet and  his  adherents  and  the  Jewish  tribes 
of  Arabia.  The  dan  of  the  Beni>Keinouka 
was  besieged  in  a  fortress  near  Medina,  and 
overcome  by  the  warrior-prophet.  The  same 
&te  awaited  the  other  tribes,  one  after  the 


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THE  JEWS   AND   MAHOMETANS.  137 

other;  the  conqueror  slew  the  men  by  hun- 
dreds, and  took  the  women  and  children  for  a 
spoil.  His  last  campaign  against  the  Jews 
ended  more  happily  for  the  cause  than  for  the 
person  of  the  Prophet.  Among  the  strong- 
holds of  the  Jews  of  Cheibar,  which  fell  after 
a  stout  resistance,  the  Castle  Kamress  was 
bravely  defended  by  an  Israelitish  Chief, 
named  Marhaba,  of  colossal  stature  and 
distinguished  valour,  who  fell  in  single  com- 
bat with  a  Mussulman  of  rank.  When,  at 
the  taking  of  this  castle,  his  niece  Zeinah 
became  the  prisoner  of  Mahomet,  she  avenged 
the  death  of  her  relation  and  her  people  by 
administering  to  him  a  slow  poison,  which  so 
undermined  his  constitution  that  he  died  of  its 
effects  a  few  years  after,  a.d.  632. 

From  the  moment  that  the  Jews  declared 
themselves  against  Mahomet,  they  became  the 
especial  objects  of  his  hatred.  In  his  wrath 
he  bestowed  on  them  the  appellations  of 
"  unbelievers,"  "  murderers  of  the  prophets," 
"cursed  of  God,*'  "falsifiers  of  revelation," 
and  as  such  he  treated  them.  Though  from 
that  time  no  actual  persecution  was  carried 
on,  a  feeling  of  enmity  has  ever  existed  be- 
tween the  Mussulman  and  the  Jew.  In  cer- 
tain exceptional  cases,    indeed,    Mahometan 


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138  THE  JBWS  AND   MAHOMETANS. 

princes  have  at  times  granted  them  protection, 
and  even  &yonr, — nay,  we  find  in  the  thir- 
teenth century  a  Jewish  Grand  Vizier  at  Bag- 
dad, named  Saddeddulat  But  popular  hatred 
and  -contempt  has  ever  been  the  portion  of 
Israel  under  the  crescent  as  well  as  the  cross : 
as  in  Christian  Europe,  so  in  Mahometan  Asia 
and  Africa,  the  Jew  was  compelled  to  bear  a 
distinctive  mark  in  his  garments — here  the 
yellow  hat,  there  the  black  turban. 

And  yet  Mahometanism  itself  was  derived 
from  the  Old  Testament,  and  was  still  more 
closely  connected  with  modem  Judaism  !  To 
be  descended  from  Abraham  was  reckoned  a 
high  honour,  alike  by  the  Arabians,  by  Ma- 
homet himself,  and  by  the  Saracen  Mussul- 
mans ;  and  this  they  possessed  in  common  with 
the  sons  of  Israel.  The  Jewish  prophets  (in- 
cluding therein  especially  Jesus,  or  Issah) 
were  reckoned  by  the  followers  of  Mahomet  as 
holy  men ;  Jerusalem  was  entitled  El  Kods,  a 
holy  city, — Sinai,  a  holy  mountain ;  and  they 
look  upon  the  valley  of  Jehoshaphat  as  the 
spot  where  Jesus,  the  Judge  of  the  nations, 
with  Mahomet  at  his  side,  will  judge  the 
world,  seated  upon  a  stone,  which  the  Ma- 
hometan points  out  to  the  traveller.  But  a 
still  closer  connexion  with  the  Talmud  and 


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THE   JEWS   AND   MAHOMETANS.  139 

the  Jewish  traditions  has  been  of  late  found  to 
exist  in  the  Koran.  It  has  long  been  matter 
of  difficulty  to  reconcile  the  undoubted  marks 
of  a  biblical  influence  in  the  composition  of 
the  Koran,  with  its  author's  palpable  igno- 
rance of  the  real  contents  of  the  Bible.  The 
kind  of  half-knowledge  it  manifests,  both  of 
men  and  facts  in  tide  Old  Testament,  and  of 
our  Saviour's  life  in  the  New,  has  been  attri- 
buted to  a  supposed  intimacy  of  Mahomet  with 
the  historians.  New  light,  however,  has 
been  thrown  upon  the  subject,  since  attention 
has  been  drawn  to  a  person  who  is  entitled  to 
a  distinguished  place  in  the  biography  of  the 
founder  of  Islamism.  Warakha  Ibn  Naufal 
was  nearly  related  to  Kadisha,  the  first  wife 
of  Mahomet.  An  Ishmaelite  by  birth,  but 
disgusted  with  the  idolatry  of  his  nation  and 
contemporaries,  he  sought  for  a  purer  faith, — 
first  in  the  bosom  of  Pharisaical  Judaism,  and 
later ^  in  the  deeply  degenerate  Christianity  of 
the  East. 

At  last  he  attached  himself  to  Mahomet, 
and  soon  obtained  considerable  influence  over 
the  Prophet  of  Mecca  and  his  doctrines.  It  is 
more  than  probable,  that  by  Warakha  Ibn 
Naufal's  acquaintance  with  the  holy  writings  of 


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140  THE   JEWS  AND   MAHOMETANS. 

both  the  Jews  and  Christians,  and  also  with 
the  Rabbinical  traditions,  many  circumstances 
were  brought  to  the  knowledge  of  Mahomet 
which  subsequently  found  their  way,  with 
more  or  less  adulteration,  into  the  Koran. 
At  least  the  biblical  legends  of  this  singular 
book  are  also  to  be  met  with  in  the  Talmud 
and  other  ancient  writings  of  the  Jews.  The 
Koran  may  be  looked  upon,  in  some  respects, 
as  a  kind  of  "  military  Mishna.'' 

We  will  once  more  take  a  glance  at  the 
Jews  in  Asia,  after  its  conquest  by  Mahomet, 
and  specially  in  Arabia,  the  birth-place  of  his 
new  religion.  There,  too,  since  the  time  of 
Mahomet,  their  condition  grew  worse  and 
worse.  In  other  parts,  they  dwelt  more  scat- 
tered ;  but  in  Southern  Arabia,  especially  in 
Yemen,  they  were  more  closely  drawn  to- 
gether, and  separated  from  the  rest  of  the 
population.  In  the  mountainous  country  of 
Cheibar,  to  the  north-east  of  Medina,  travellers 
have  related,  that  there  still  exist  three  dif- 
ferent tribes  of  Jews,  so  detested  by  the  Ma- 
hometans, that  ^^  Beni  Cheiba  "  is,  with  them, 
a  term  of  reproach.  Because  these  Jews 
(from  dwelling  in  the  desert),  have  little  or  no 
communication  with  their  countrymen,  they 


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THE  JEWS  ON  THE  KALABAB  COAST.     141 

have  been  thought  by  some  to  be  Karaites. 
At  Aden,  on  the  coast,  the  Jewish  population 
is  at  the  present  time  very  numerous.* 

Beyond  the  boundaries  of  either  the  old 
Roman  or  the  Byzantine  Empire,  Jews  have, 
in  early  times,  been  met  with,  both  in  the 
most  remote  parts  of  the  interior  of  Asia,  and 
upon  the  coast  of  Malabar.  The  annals  of 
these  latter  seem  to  trace  back  their  arrival  in 
the  country  to  the  time  of  the  conquest  of 
Jerusalem  by  Titus.  Others  explain  these 
records  as  referring  rather  to  the  arrival  of  a 
Jewish  colony  in  the  fifth  century,  in  conse- 
quence of  a  persecution  raised  in  Persia.  The 
title  of  these  documents  given  to  the  leaders 
of  the  colony  confirms  the  later  date.  He  was 
called  '^  Babbana,"  Joseph ;  and  this  form  of 
the  title  of  ^*  master"  among  the  Jews  takes 
its  date  from  that  very  epoch.  Although  in 
their  features  and  colour  these  Indian  Jews 
exactly  resemble  the  other  inhabitants  of  the 
country,  still,  their  customs,  their  prayers,  and 
their  observance  of  the  rules  of  the  Talmud, 
give  evident  tokens  of  their  origin  and  religion. 
Towards  the  close  of  the  seventeenth  century, 

*  The  Jews  of  Aden  were  visited  in  1843  by  Dr. 
^Tdaon.  (See  "^  Lands  of  the  BibV  voL  i.,  p.  16.) 
Their  numbers  then  amounted  to  1,070. 


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142  THE  JEWS   IK   INDIA. 

the  Jews  of  Cochin  held  some  correspondence 
with  the  Portuguese  Synagogue  at  Amster- 
dam, and  information  was  ^ven  of  a  series  of 
Jewish  kings  who  had  successively  reigned  in 
the  country ;  by  which,  however,  in  all  probap 
bility  were  only  meant  a  sort  of  governors, 
possessing  their  own  jurisdiction  and  laws. 
It  appears  beyond  a  doubt  that  the  Jews  there 
have  enjoyed  extraordinary  prosperity,  and 
have  had  cities  and  strongholds  in  their  pos- 
session. Some  English  authorities  in  recent 
times  have  mentioned  yet  another  race  of  Jews 
in  India,  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  Mah- 
rattas.  They  call  themselves  Beni-Israel,  but 
acknowledge  no  relationship  with  the  Jews  of 
Malabar,  Persia,  or  Arabia.  The  Israelitish 
features  of  their  countenance  (we  are  assured) 
distinguish  them  completely  from  the  Ma- 
hometans and  Hindoos.  They  invoke  the 
name  of  Jehovah,  practise  circumcision  on  the 
eighth  day,  and  observe  the  feasts  and  fasts, 
especially  the  great  Day  of  Atonement.  They 
do  not  possess  the  prophetical  Scriptures,  nor 
are  they  acquainted  with  the  history  of  their 
own  nation  since  the  time  of  the  Babylonish 
captivity,  so  that  they  neither  observe  the 
Feast  of  Purim,  nor  keep  up  any  remembrance 
of  the  destruction  of  the  Second  Temple.   They 


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THE  JEWS    IN   CHINA.  143 

are  accused  of  occasionally  mingling  Indian 
superstitions  and  idolatries  with  the  worship 
of  the  God  of  their  fathers,  but  at  the  same 
time  they  bear  a  high  character  for  their 
industry,  activity,  and  military  talent.  They 
rarely  serve  in  the  native  infantry  without 
attaining  the  rank  of  officers. 

At  Bombay,  too,  there  are  more  than  5,000 
Jews,  chiefly  occupied  in  agriculture  and  the 
manufacture  of  oil,  while  those  who  live  in  the 
city  are  employed  as  masons  and  carpenters. 
They  use  the  Liturgy  of  the  Sephardim,  which 
they  have  received  from  their  neighbours,  but 
possess  no  manuscript  of  the  law.  Their 
entire  rejection  of  the  appellation  of  Yehudi, 
or  Jew,  together  vnth.  other  circumstances 
noted  by  Dr.  Wilson  in  his  visit  to  Bombay, 
lead  him  to  the  conclusion,  that  the  Beni-Israel 
of  Bombay  were  originally  descended  from 
the  captivity  of  the  ten  tribes. 

In  the  far-distant  regions  of  China,  the 
Jewish  population  has  long  existed.  The  first 
discovery  of  this  colony  was  made  by  the 
Jesuits,  in  1642,  who  met  with  Jews  at  Fekin, 
Nanking,  and  particularly  at  Kue-fung-foo, 
the  capital  of  the  province  of  Ho-nun.  Later 
missionaries  of  the  same  Society,  sent  out  in 


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144  THE   JEWS   IN   CHINA. 

1720,  better  acquainted  with  the  Hebrew 
tongue,  confirmed  the  details  which  had  before 
been  given.  Learned  men  in  France,  among 
whom  we  may  mention  the  Orientalist,  De 
Sacy,  gave  their  attention  to  the  subject,  and 
made  it  matter  of  research  and  examination. 
Thus  the  following  conclusions  have  been 
established.  Between  the  time  of  Ezra  and 
the  destruction  of  the  Second  Temple,  Jews 
from  Persia  emigrated  to  China,  and  estab- 
lished themselves  in  five  of  the  principal  cities 
of  that  vast  empire.  This  is  confirmed  by  the 
&ct,  that  the  Chinese  Jews  are  well  acquainted 
with  Ezra,  whom  they  regard  with  almost  as 
much  veneration  as  Moses,  while  they  appear  to 
be  quite  ignorant  of  the  pharisaical  traditions 
of  the  Talmud.  Their  Persian  origin  (pro- 
bably by  way  of  Chorazan  and  Samarcand)  is 
attested  by  the  mixture  of  Persian  words  in 
their  language.  The  whole  population  of  the 
Chinese  Jews  sprang  from  seven  tribes,  or  £Eimi- 
lies,  whose  names  (Sing-tschao-ti,  Sing-kao-ti, 
Sing-gnai-ti,  Sing-king-ti,  Sing-tschi-ti,  Sing- 
thschan-ti,  Sing-U-ti,)  seem  to  be  derived  from 
those  of  the  different  emperors  under  whom, 
at  successive  periods,  these  &milies  established 
themselves  in  China.  To  the  first  of  these 
emigrations  we  certainly  cannot  assign  a  later 


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THE   JEWS    IN    CHINA.  146 

date  than  the  early  part  of  the  second  century 
before  the  birth  of  Christ. 

The  Jews  in  China,  in  common  with  Maho- 
metans and  Christians,  bear  the  name  of 
Hwwy-Hwwy,  but  are  distinguished  by  the 
significant  epithet  of  Taou-kinkeaou,  the  people 
that  cut  out  the  sinew.  (Gen.  xxxii.  32.)  The 
synagogue  at  Kae-fdng-foo  possessed  a  beauti- 
ful manuscript  copy  of  the  books  of  Moses; 
and  by  way  of  Haphtorah,  a  collection  of  pas- 
sages selected  from  the  books  of  Joshua, 
Judges,  Samuel,  Kings,  and  the  Prophets,  the 
books  of  Esther  and  Nehemiah,  and  some 
other  historical  books.  It  possessed  also  a 
book  of  commentaries,  and  numerous  copies  of 
their  ritual.  The  rite  of  Circumcision,  the 
Sabbath,  the  Passover,  the  Feast  of  Taber- 
nacles, and  the  great  Day  of  Atonement,  are 
observed  by  them.  They  do  not  pronounce 
the  name  of  Jehovah,  but  substitute  that  of 
the  Lard.  They  have  no  knowledge  whatever 
of  the  name  or  history  of  our  Saviour.  The 
inscriptions  in  their  synagogue,  and  especially 
the  **  Hear,  O  Israel,  the  Lord  our  God  is 
one  God,"  are  written  both  in  Hebrew  and 
Chinese.  The  Hebrew  language,  which  is 
still  knovra  imperfectly  by  some,  is  also  imper- 
fectly pronounced,  because  the  Chinese  Ian- 


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146  THE   JEWS    IN   CHINA. 

guage  does  not  possess  all  the  sounds  necessary 
for  the  correct  pronunciation  of  Hebrew. 

Among  these  Jews  some  learned  men  were 
met  with,  great  admirers  of  Confucius,  and 
others  who,  by  the  universal  toleration  allowed, 
had  risen  to  the  rank  of  mandarins ;  one  espe- 
cially, named  Chao,  was  much  praised  for 
having  rebuilt  at  his  own  expense  a  syna^ 
gogue  destroyed  by  fire. 

A  great  number  of  the  Chinese  Jews  seem 
to  have  &llen  away  to  Mahometanism.  But 
the  Jesuits  having  been  driven  out  of  China, 
in  the  year  1723,  all  sources  of  information  on 
the  subject  were  closed ;  it  is  only  since  the 
year  1816,  that  by  the  researches  of  the  mis- 
sionary, Dr.  Morrison,  we  have  again  received 
some  tidings  of  the  people  that  cut  out  the 
sinew.  The  events  of  the  last  few  years,  as 
regards  China,  encourage  us  to  look  for  many 
discoveries  in  this  interesting  field  of  research. 
At  any  rate,  we  are  well  assured  of  the  fact, 
that  the  Israelites,  during  their  banishment  in 
the  East,  penetrated  the  wall  of  China. 

We  will  now  turn  our  attention  to  the  cap- 
tivity of  Israel  in  the  West. 

We  have  already  mentioned  the  evil  effects 
resulting  to  the  Jews,  from  the  conversion  of 
the  Roman  Emperors  to  Christianity.    In  the' 


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THE  JEWS  AND  THE  GOTHS.      147 

Western  Empire  this  unfavourable  change 
began  to  show  itself  in  the  days  of  Honorius, 
and  would  probably  have  produced  the  same 
consequences  which  had  occurred  in  the  East, 
if  the  storm  that  burst  over  Eome  towards  the 
close  of  the  fifth  century,  had  not  changed  in 
a  degree  the  position,  both  of  the  Jews  and  of 
their  oppressors.  The  Northern  nations,  so 
long  as  they  professed  Arianism  in  preference 
to  the  Catholic  faith,  showed  themselves  mer* 
ciful  to  their  Jewish  subjects*  This  was  espe- 
cially the  case  with  the  Goths.  When,  at  the 
period  we  have  mentioned,  the  dominion  of 
the  Ostrogoths,  under  their  king,  Theodoric, 
succeeded  that  of  Odoacer  and  the  Heruli  in 
Italy  and  the  West,  the  Jews  had  every  reason 
to  Jje  satisfied  with  their  new  sovereign. 
Without  concealing  his  desire  for  their  con- 
version to  Christianity,  (at  least  to  what  he 
looked  upon  as  such),  he  manifested  more 
than  once  in  his  edicts  and  decrees,  the  un* 
willingness  he  felt  to  make  use  of  any  coercion 
or  violence  to  efiect  it*  Whether  from  the 
private  feelings  of  the  king,  or  the  influence 
of  his  minister,  Cassiodorus,  the  justice  ex- 
tended to  the  Jews  in  his  days  was  well 
worthy  of  imitation.  He  wrote  with  kindness 
to  those  of  Genoa,  giving  them  permission  to 
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148  THE   JEWS   AND  THE   GOTHS. 

rebuild  their  synagogue,  when  their  liberty  to 
do  so  was  contested  by  the  magistrates  of  the 
city.  He  granted  them  many  rights  and  pri* 
vileges,  as  well  as  at  Milan  and  at  Rome,  and 
severely  rebuked  his  people  for  having  burnt 
a  Jewish  synagogue. 

Thus  the  Goths  in  the  West,  like  the 
Persians  in  the  East,  found  faithful  allies  in 
the  Jews  of  that  period.  When  Justinian,  by 
his  general,  Narses,  conquered  Italy  from  the 
Ostrogoths,  (a.d.  555,)  its  Jewish  population 
made  a  most  determined  resistance  to  the 
great  enemy  of  their  nation.  At  Naples,  in 
particular,  they  distinguished  themselves  in 
their  opposition  to  the  Imperial  troops;  and 
when  the  town  was  captured,  vengeance  fell 
heavily  on  the  Israelites  who  had  taken  so 
large  a  share  in  its  defence. 

The  Visigoths  also,  at  the  commencement 
of  the  same  century,  (a.d.  518,)  received 
assistance  from  the  Jews,  in  their  defence  of 
Aries,  in  Provence,  against  the  Franks  under 
Clovis.  In  Spain,  the  kings  of  the  Visigoths 
treated  them  with  favour,  till  about  the  year 
600,  their  king,  Reccared,  having  abandoned 
Arianism  to  embrace  the  religion  of  Rome, 
made  a  beginning  of  that  peculiar  system  of 
conduct  towards  the  Jews,  which,  in  after  ages, 


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THE  JEWS  AND  THE  FRANKS.     149 

led  to  their  total  expulsion  from  the  Peninsula. 
The  conquest  of  the  country  by  the  Saracens, 
in  700,  established  for  a  time  quite  a  different 
relation  between  the  Jews  and  the  other  in- 
habitants of  the  land. 

The  dominion  of  the  Franks,  was  in  early 
times,  less  merciful  to  the  exiles  of  Palestine 
than  that  of  the  Goths.  The  Merovingian 
line  at  least  treated  them  with  peculiar  rigour. 
As  early  as  the  year  540,  King  Childebert 
forbade  the  Jews  to  appear  in  the  streets  of 
Paris,  during  the  whole  of  Easter  week.  A 
little  later,  Clotaire  II.  deprived  them  of  the 
power  of  holding  any  dignity  or  office  of  state, 
whether  civil  or  military.  King  Dagobert,  at 
the  instigation,  it  is  said,  of  the  Emperor 
Heraclius,  (a.d.  629,)  compelled  the  Jews  to 
receive  baptism,  under  a  threat  of  banishment 
in  a  body,  but  the  effect  of  this  menace 
speedily  passed  away.  We  find  them  soon 
after  in  Languedoc,  possessing  a  flourishing 
maritime  trade  (including,  alas !  the  disgraceful 
traffic  in  slaves),  and  in  a  condition  to  equip 
fleets.  In  the  same  century  th^ir  academy  at 
Lunel  was  already  in  some  repute. 

Under  the  dynasty  of  the  Carlovingians  in 
France,  we  find  the  Jews  of  the  eighth  and 
ninth  century  enjoying  so  great  a  degree  pf 


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150  THE   JEWS    AND   CHAELEMAGNE. 

prosperity  that  the  Romish  bishops  took  alarm, 
and  thought  it  necessary  to  enter  a  protest. 

Pepin  le  Bref,  son  of  Charles  Martel,  and 
father  of  Charlemagne,  had  already  granted 
the  Jews  many  privileges,  especially  the  power 
of  holding  land.  Their  prosperity  and  influ- 
ence increased  considerably  in  the  kingdom  of 
the  Franks  under  Charlemagne. 

This  great  man,  so  remarkable  in  many 
ways,  as  one  who  gave  a  distinctive  character 
to  the  age  in  which  he  lived,  justly  deserves 
the  praise  of  posterity,  as  a  sovereign  and  a 
legislator.  He  is  not  the  less  worthy  of 
admiration  for  the  eflfbrts  he  made,  and  the 
principles  he  maintained,  on  the  subjects  of 
Christianity,  the  Church,  and  education.  It 
is  true,  that,  like  all  the  men  of  his  time,  he 
was  a  devoted  adherent  to  the  Church  of 
Rome ;  and  on  this  account  he  contributed,  in 
no  small  degree,  to  extend  both  the  temporal 
and  spiritual  power  of  its  bishop.  And  yet, 
with  this  faith  in,  and  zeal  for,  Catholicism, 
there  was  in  Charlemagne,  what  we  might  call 
a  germ  of  Protestantism,  which  manifested 
itself  in  a  desire  for  the  general  diffusion  of 
learning,  both  in  colleges  and  among  the  people, 
and  in  the  successful  efforts  he  made  to  further 
the  diffusion,  the  translation,  and  the  reading 


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THE   JEWS   AND    CHARLEMAGNE.  151 

of  the  Scriptures.  He  also  made  a  vigorous 
opposition,  even  in  defiance  of  Borne,  to  the 
worship  of  images,  established  about  the  same 
period  in  the  East,  by  a  Council*  which  may 
justly  be  termed  Antichristian. 

It  was  either  his  own  Christian  principles, 
joined  to  an  enlightened  system  of  politics,  or 
perhaps  a  feeling  of  sympathy  with  the  de- 
clared adversaries  of  every  kind  of  imagcr 
worship,  which  led  this  monarch  to  show 
peculiar  favour  to  the  Jews.  From  whatever 
cause  it  may  have  arisen,  there  is  but  one 
voice  on  the  subject;  every  historian  bears 
witness  to  the  wise  benevolence  of  Charle* 
magne  towards  the  Jewish  people,  and  to  the 
remarkable  degree  of  liberty  and  prosperity 
which  they  enjoyed  during  his  reign,  and  that 
of  his  son,  Louis  le  D6bonnaire, 

The  embassy,  entrusted  by  Charlemagne  to 
the  Counts  Sigismund  and  Lanfred,  jointly  with 
the  Jew  Isaac,  (a.d,  797,)  but  mainly  owing  its 
success  to  the  latter,  at  the  Court  of  the  Caliph 
Haroun  al  Baschid,  is  a  fact  generally  known. 
Isaac  spent  four  years  at  Bagdad  in  the  fulfil* 
ment  of  this  mission,  and  returned  to  Europe 
with  magnificent  presents  for  the  Emperor, 
among  which  were  an  elephant  and  a  costly 
•  The  Second  Council  of  Nice,  737. 


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152      THE  JEWS  AND  LOUIS  LE  DEBONNAIRE. 

timepiece.  The  same  Jew  afterwards  made  a 
similar  expedition  in  the  Emperor's  behalf  to 
the  Court  of  Persia.  It  is  possible  that  policy 
had  some  share  in  these  arrangements,  and 
that  Charlemagne,  in  his  projects  against  the 
Byzantine  Empire,  looked  upon  the  wandering 
son  of  Israel,  as  the  fittest  agent  between 
Western  Christianity  and  Eastern  Mahomet- 
anism.  Even  this  gives  proof  of  the  enlight* 
ened  views  taken  by  the  great  Emperor,  and  his 
entire  freedom  from  narrow-minded  prejudice. 
Louis  le  D6bonnaire,  the  son  and  successor 
of  Charlemagne,  though  possessing  less  talent 
and  greatness  of  mind  than  his  father,  followed 
out  his  example  in  treating  the  Jews  with 
benevolence.  In  his  case,  deep  attachment  to 
the  Christian  religion  and  to  the  Church,  did 
not  serve  as  a  pretext  for  oppressing  and 
trampling  upon  God's  ancient  people  in  their 
miserable  unbelief.  As  far  as  the  interests  of 
Christianity  and  the  Church,  and  the  spirit  of 
the  age  allowed  him,  he  showed  a  marked 
goodwill  towards  the  Jews,  both  by  his  laws 
and  actions;  in  some  respects,  even  more  so 
than  his  father.  A  Jew,  named  Zedekiah, 
(who  was  disgraced  and  put  to  death  under 
one  of  his  successors,)  was  his  first  physician. 
He  constantly  protected  them   from  all  ill- 


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THE  JEWS  AND  LOUIS  LE  DEBONNAIRE.      153 

treatment  and  injustice.  He  confirmed  to 
them  many  privileges  and  immunities,  (for 
instance,  the  right  of  holding  land  and  possess* 
ing  slaves,)  and  allowed  them  to  refuse  the 
ordeal  hy  fire  or  water,  so  much  in  use  among 
the  Christians  of  that  age.  He  freed  them 
from  the  grinding  taxes  known  hy  the  bar- 
barous appellations  of  Paraverdum^'^  Mansion 
naticum,^  Telonium.X  All  these  immunities 
were  confirmed  to  the  Jews  by  the  Emperor 
and  King  in  the  year  830,  in  the  form  of  a 
most  gracious  edict  addressed  to  two  Israelites, 
Domat  Rabbi  and  his  grandson,  Samuel.  The 
Jews  of  that  period  had  almost  entire  posses- 
sion of  the  trade  with  Venice  and  the  Levant, 
and  had  thus  acquired  great  power,  especially 
in  the  south  of  France.  At  Narbonne,  for 
instance,  for  many  years  after,  one  of  the  two 
chief  magistrates  was  by  prescriptive  right  a 
Jew.  On  their  account,  the  fairs,  which  had 
before  been  held  on  a  Saturday,  were,  by  the 
Imperial  Commissaries,  changed  to  another  day 
of  the  week.     Lyons  was  at  that  period  the 

*  A  tax  for  exemption  frpm  the  obligation  of  furnish- 
ing post-horses  for  the  high  roads. 

f  A  tax  for  exemption  Q-om  the  obligation  to  lod^e 
soldiers. 

X  CqBton»^taxes  on  imports  bj  sea. 
h3 


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154      THE  JEWS  AND  LOUIS  L£  DEBONNAIRE. 

centre  of  their  industry  and  commerce,  they 
inhabited  the  best  part  of  the  town,  and  pos- 
sessed a  very  fine  synagogue.     It  was  to  no 
purpose  that  the  clergy  in  their  councils  fretted 
and  remonstrated  against  so  much  favour  being 
shown  to  the  Jews.     Even  Agobard,  Bishop 
of  Lyons,  found  no  opportunity  at  court  for 
venting   his  vehement   complaints;    though, 
according  to  his  account,  the  influence  of  the 
Jews  in  his  time  was  so  great,  that  they  openly 
boasted  of  possessing  the  monarch's  decided 
preference,  and  declared  that  some  Christians 
found  more  interest  in  the  conversation  and 
teaching  of  the  Rabbins,  than  of  their  own 
priests.     We  find,  in  a  letter  from  the  bishop 
we  have  just  named,  a  singular  complaint, 
especially  in  that  age;   he  says,   "that  the 
country  people  looked  upon  the  Jews  as  the 
only  people  of  God!"     Some  persons,  there- 
fore, must  have  considered  that  the  Jews  held 
a  purer  faith  than  the  Eoman  Catholics  them- 
selves.    We  read  about  this  time  (a.d.  839) 
of  a  deacon,  named  Bodo,  who  was  admitted 
to  Judaism  by  the  rite  of  circumcision. 

The  position  of  the  Jews  underwent  an 
entire  change  at  the  downfall  of  the  Carlovin- 
gian  dynasty,  which  began  to  decay  after  the 
death  of  Louis  le  D6bonnaire.     The  invasion 


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THE  JEWS  AND  THE  NORMANS.     155 

of  the  Normans,  who,  in  the  latter  years  of 
the  reign  of  Charlemagne,  began  to  overrun 
Europe,  was  partly  the  cause,  and  partly  the 
signal  for  a  complete  change  of  the  whole 
state  of  things  in  that  quarter  of  the  world. 
The  whole  sur&ce  of  affairs  in  Germany, 
France,  and  to  a  certain  extent  in  Italy  and 
England  also,  was  (if  we  may  so  express  it) 
completely  flooded,  and  its  aspect  from  that 
time  entirely  changed.  An  age  of  barbarism 
spread  over  the  whole  face  of  Christianity, 
during  which  the  power  of  kings,  the  com* 
mercial  prosperity  of  nations,  their  internal 
and  external  means  of  communication,  and  in 
a  word,  all  general  peace  and  order  were  in^ 
volved  in  one  common  ruin.  During  this  age 
of  almost  revolutionary  anarchy,  the  feudal 
system  developed  itself.  This  striking  charac- 
teristic of  the  middle  ages,  the  sole  remedy  for 
so  many  existing  evils,  became  so  firmly  estab* 
lished  that  its  remains  still  exist,  and  continue, 
though  with  a  decreasing  power,  to  exert  their 
influence  over  the  institutions  of  the  present 
time.  To  the  Jews,  this  new  system  was  in 
every  way  injurious.  With  the  growth  of  the 
feudal  system  in  Europe,  the  rise  of  the  Cape- 
tiau  dynasty  in  France,  and  the  establishment 
of  the  Duke  of  Normandy  on  the  throne  of 


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156  THE  JEWS   AI^O   THE   N0BMAH8. 

England,  commenced  a  period  of  seven  cen# 
tunes,  the  time  of  the  most  crael  oppression 
and  deepest  debasement  which  that  unhappy 
nation  ever  underwent. 

No  greater  contrast  can  possibly  be  imagined 
than  that  between  the  Norman  and  the  Jew, 
during  the  time  of  the  middle  ages,  It  has 
been  generally  remarked,  that  the  Jews,  during 
the  whole  period  of  their  dispersion,  have 
found  themselves  less  at  home  in  the  north  of 
Europe  than  in  any  part  of  the  globe.  But, 
as  opposed  to  the  celebrated  Norman  race, 
who,  in  the  ninth  century,  invaded  and 
renewed  the  whole  European  population,  we 
may  especially  look  upon  the  Jews  as  the  com* 
plete  antipodes  of  the  nations  of  Christendom. 
Thus  it  was  no  mere  matter  of  chance  which 
made  the  period  of  Norman  glory,  the  time  of 
lowest  degradation  to  the  Jews.  It  formed 
part  of  a  regular  system,  because  what  was 
most  opposed  to  the  Jews,  and  most  detested 
by  them,  was  the  special  object  of  reverence 
and  devotion  to  the  Normans,  whose  submis- 
sion to  the  Papal  power,  both  spiritual  and 
temporal,  was  absolute  and  entire.  We  may 
easily  recal  to  mind  an  instance  of  most 
bigoted  submission  to  the  Papacy,  coupled 
with  cruel  enmity  to  the  Jews,  in  King  Johu^ 


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THE  JEWS  AND  THE  CRUSADES.     157 

sornamed  Lackland,  who  gave  up  his  kingdom 
to  the  Pope,  to  receive  it  again  as  a  vassal ; 
whilst  the  sufferings  of  the  Jews  in  his 
reign  have  been  painted  both  in  history  and 
romance. 

The  period  during  which  Romeand  the  Papacy 
were  most  highly  exalted,  from  the  time  of 
Gregory  VII.,  in  the  eleventh  century,  corre- 
sponds in  part  with  the  age  of  the  Qrusades ; 
which  commenced  towards  the  close  of  the 
same  century,  and  lasted,  at  intervals,  for  a 
space  of  200  years.  No  act  of  the  Christians 
ever  displayed  such  unaccountable  hatred  to 
the  remnant  of  Israel  as  the  Crusades.  While 
preparing  for  an  expedition  to  the  Israelites' 
own  fatherland,  the  crusaders  consecrated  each 
attempt  to  conquer  the  city  of  the  Temple,  and 
the  tomb  of  the  Saviour  of  the  world,  the 
King  of  the  Jews,  by  first  drawing  their 
swords  in  Europe  upon  the  defenceless  exiles 
of  Palestine.  A  furious  band,  under  the 
notorious  Gauthier  Sans  avoir^  signalized  their 
unhallowed  zeal  by  most  revolting  deeds  of 
violence  and  murder  perpetrated  on  the  Jews 
of  Treves.  The  bishop  of  that  town  thought 
it  right  to  refuse  protection  to  these  unfortu- 
nate people,  and  rather  to  make  use  of  the 
opportunity  for  compelling   them  to  receive 


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158  THE  JEWS   AND   BERNARD, 

baptism.  Driven  to  desperation  by  this  craelty, 
men  slew  their  children  and  themselves  with 
their  own  hands,  and  women  threw  themselves 
from  the  bridges  into  the  river.  From  Treves 
the  fire  of  persecution  spread  to  Cologne, 
Mentz,  Worms,  and  Spires,  where  the  Jews 
fought  desperately,  and  sold  their  lives  dearly. 
Persecution  raged  on  the  banks  of  the  Danube 
as  well  as  the  Rhine,  We  find  mentioned  in 
some  records,  that  a  massacre  took  place  in 
Bavaria  of  as  many  as  12,000  Jews.  In  fact, 
the  period  of  the  Crusades  was  the  beginning 
of  a  long  continuance  of  oppression,  murders, 
and  bodily  tortures,  inflicted  upon  the  Jews 
in  almost  every  part  of  Christendom. 

In  the  midst  of  these  horrible  atrocities  and 
crying  oppression,  it  is  gratifying  to  hear  one 
voice  at  least  raised  to  protest  against  these 
crimes, — a  voice  expressive  of  Christian  bene- 
volence towards  the  objects  of  so  much  hatred 
and  cruelty.  Impartiality  requires  us  to  state, 
that  such  a  voice  more  than  once  issued  from 
Rome  by  the  mouth,  of  her  popes.  Gregory 
IX.  in  1240,  and  Innocent  IV.  in  1260,  are 
specially  noticed  as  pleading  the  cause  of  the 
Jews  in  their  day  with  nations  and  kings. 
But  none  delivered  a  testimony  so  entirely 
just,  merciful,  and  in   accordance  with  the 


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ABBOT   OP   CLAIRVAULX.  159 

spirit  of  the  Gospel,  as  the  celebrated  Bernard, 
Abbot  of  Clairvaulx,  in  France,  a  man  eminent 
both  for  the  sanctity  of  his  life,  and  the  spiritu- 
ality of  his  writings,  from  whence  he  was 
sumamed  the  last  of  the  Fathers,  His  high 
character,  which  had  secured  almost  universal 
respect,  enabled  him  to  exercise  considerable 
influence,  both  in  the  Christian  Church  and 
over  the  crowned  heads  of  Europe.  To  this 
influence  may  be  chiefly  traced  the  commence- 
ment of  the  second  Crusade,  in  the  year  1146, 
in  which  the  Emperor  Conrad  III,  and  King 
Louis  VII,  of  France  took  part. 

Again,  men  calling  themselves  Christians, 
were  preparing  to  open  the  campaign  with  a 
massacre  of  the  Jews,  An  unworthy  monk, 
named  Sadulphus,  stirred  up  the  populace  of 
Cologne,  Strasburg,  and  other  towns  of  Ger- 
many against  them.  Let  us  hear  how  the 
Abbot  of  Clairvaulx  speaks  to  the  sanguinary 
and  seditious  monk,  and  pleads  the  cause  of 
the  menaced  Israelites;  first,  in  an  epistle  to 
the  clergy  and  laity  of  what  was  then  called 
Eastern  France,  and  afterwards  in  a  letter 
addressed  to  Henry,  Archbishop  of  Mentz:* — 

"  For  the  rest,  brethren,  I  exhort  you,  yet 

*  St  Bemardi  (Abbatis  Claravallensis)  EpistoleB,  132 
et  133. 


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160  THE  ^BWS  AND  THE 

not  I  alone,  but  the  Apostle  of  Ood  vnth  me, 
*  not  to  believe  every  spirit.*    We  have  heard, 
and  we  rejoice,  that  the  zeal  for  Ood  is  strong 
in  you;  but  it  is  well  that  the  discretion  of 
wisdom  should  not  be  wanting.    The  Jews 
ought  not  to  be  persecuted,  they  ought  not  to 
be  put  to  death,  they  ought  not  to  be  driven 
into  banishment    Consult  Holy  Scripture.    I 
know  that  it  is  prophesied  in  the  Psalms  con* 
ceming  the  Jews — ^God,*  saith  the  Church, 
*will  make  me  triumph  over  mine  enemies, 
slay  them  not,  lest  my  people  forget/    These 
men  are  liviag  monuments  to  remind  us  of  the 
sufferings  of  our  Lord.     For  this  cause  they 
are  dispersed  into  all  countries,  that,  while 
they  suffer   the   just    punishment    of   their 
heinous  sin,  they  may  be   witnesses  of  our 
redemption.     Therefore,  in  the  same  psalm, 
the  Church  adds,  *  Scatter  them  by  thy  power, 
and  put  them  down,  O  Lord,  our  protector.'  ♦ 
Thus  it  is  they  are  scattered,  they  are  put 
down,  they   endure  a  hard  bondage  under 
Christian  princes,  yet  in  the  evening-tide  of 
the  world  they  will  be  converted,  and  he  will 
remember  them." 

Addressing  himself  to  Eadulphus,  he  thus 

♦  This  is  the  version  of  the  Vulgate,  of  which  the 
writer  makes  use. 


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ABBOT   OF   CLATRVAULX.  161 

speaks: — "Are  you  greater  than  our  father 
Abraham,  who  laid  down  the  sword  at  God's 
command,  which  he  had  drawn  in  obedience 
to  Him  ?  Are  you  greater  than  the  prince  of 
the  Apostles,  who  asked,  ^  Lord,  shall  we 
smite  with  the  sword  T  But  I  think  you  are 
filled  with  the  wisdom  of  the  Egyptians,  which 
is  foolishness  in  the  sight  of  God ;  you  are  of 
another  mind  from  Him  who  said,  *Put  up 
thy  sword  in  the  sheath,  for  he  that  taketh  the 
sword  shall  perish  by  the  sword,'  Does  not 
the  Church,  day  by  day,  triumph  more  glori- 
ously over  the  Jews,  when  she  refutes  and 
converts  them,  than  if  she  slew  them  at  once 
with  the  edge  of  the  sword?  Does  she  not 
pray  the  Lord  daily  to  take  the  veil  from  their 
eyes,  that  they  may  be  brought  out  of  dark- 
ness to  the  light  of  truth?  The  Church  knows 
that  the  Lord  looketh  with  grace  on  those 
who  return  good  for  evil,  love  for  hatred. 
What  signify  then  the  words,  *  Slay  them  nott* 
What  meaneth  the  promise,  *  When  the  ful- 
ness of  the  Gentiles  shall  be  come  in,  then  all 
Israel  shall  be  saved'?  What  the  promise, 
*The  Lord  will  build  Jerusalem,  He  shall 
gather  together  the  outcasts  of  Israel'?  Are 
you  the  man  who  will  make  the  prophets  liars, 
and  bring  to  nought  the  whole  treasure  of 


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162       THE   JEWS    IN   THE  MIDDLE  AGES. 

mercy  and  grace  in  Christ  Jesus?  You  are 
in  truth  like  your  master,  who  was  a  murderer 
from  the  beginning!" 

It  was  not  only  such  occasional  outbreaks  of 
popular  fury,  which  rendered  the  position  of 
the  Jews  in  the  middle  ages  so  deeply  and 
hopelessly  miserable  ;  the  place  assigned  to 
them  in  the  social  edifice  of  those  times  was 
such,  as  naturally  to  produce  a  condition, 
wherein  contempt  and  debasement  were  by 
turns  the  cause  and  effect  of  one  another. 
The  organization  of  the  feudal  system  formed 
the  sole  barrier  against  the  tide  of  anarchy 
and  social  disruption  with  which,  after  the 
reign  of  Charlemagne,  the  whole  Continent  of 
Europe  was  threatened.  This  system  estab- 
lished a  kind  of  political  hierarchy  in»  every 
part  of  Europe,  in  which  the  very  lowest  and 
most  degraded  position  was  assigned  to  the 
Jews.  Henceforth  they  became  the  Pariahs 
of  the  West.  That  any  place  at  all,  even  the 
most  abject,  was  assigned  to  them,  was  a  sort 
of  favour,  owing  to  a  peculiar  circumstance, 
which,  in  its  turn,  contributed  not  a  little  to 
their  humiliation  and  degeneracy. 

The  Romans  had  early  looked  upon  com- 
merce as  imbecoming  the  dignity  of  a  warlike 
and  conquering  nation.     The  northern  tribes, 


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COMMERCE,  ETC.,  OF   THE   JEWS.  163 

who,  in  their  migrations  during  the  fifth  and 
succeeding  centuries,  had  taken  the  place  of 
the  Romans,  manifested  still  greater  contempt 
for  all  matters  of  finance  and  traffic.  The 
free  men  possessed  the  land,  the  rest  of  the 
population  were  either  peasants,  serfs,  or 
inhabitants  of  the  towns  ;  the  latter,  for  a 
long  time,  were  rather  artisans  than  men  of 
commerce  or  capital.  Thus  all  trading,  bank* 
ing,  and  financial  operations  fell,  as  it  were, 
naturally  into  the  hands  of  the  Jews,  who, 
considering  themselves  as  strangers,  and 
looked  upon  as  enemies  by  Christians,  were 
more  and  more  completely  shut  out  from  the 
possession  of  land,  and  the  practice  of  agricul- 
ture. Commerce  itself,  in  the  situation  in 
which  the  Jews  of  that  time  were  placed,  soon 
took  a  more  ignoble  turn,  and  sunk  into  petty 
traffic,  while  their  financial  speculations  not 
unfrequently  degenerated  into  usury.  At 
least  the  cry  of  hatred  and  indignation  on  this 
account  was  first  raised  against  them  during 
the  middle  ages. 

To  understand  this  accusation  of  usury,  and 
to  pass  sentence  upon  it  with  fairness,  we  must 
take  into  account  the  habits  of  the  age  in 
which  it  first  arose,  together  with  the  natural 
disposition  and  peculiar  destiny  of  the  Israelites 


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164  COMMERCE   AND    USURY 

themselves.  They  were  not  originally  a  com- 
mercial nation,  but  shepherds  and  husbandmen; 
and  here  we  may  again  repeat  the  observa- 
tion, that  **  Israel  is  only  really  Israel  in  his 
own  country/'  Their  change  of  occupation, 
when  they  became  men  of  commerce  instead 
of  husbandmen,  must  be  viewed  in  close  con- 
nexion with  their  position  as  wanderers  over 
the  earth. 

It  was  when  dispersed  and  scattered  among 
all  nations,  that  they  took  advantage  of  their 
very  peculiar  position  for  the  purposes  of 
traffic. 

But  though  the  Israelites,  closely  connected 
by  ties  of  brotherhood,  yet  strangers  in  many 
lands,  began  their  commercial  operations  on  a 
large  scale,  they  could  not  long  preserve  them 
on  the  same  footing,  while  the  main  body  of 
their  population  was  sunk  (as  the  penalty  of 
their  sin)  to  the  very  lowest  grade  of  society. 

At  length,  being  crushed  and  confined 
within  the  very  narrowest  circle  in  which  his 
existence  could  be  endured,  by  the  Christian 
nations,  the  Jew  was  forced,  by  a  combination 
of  circumstances,  to  confine  his  inventive 
genius  to  financial  speculations  exclusively. 
We  must  not,  however,  imagine  that  every- 
thing to  which  the  name  of  usury  was  given 


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OF   THE   JEWS.  165 

in  the  middle  ages,  when  the  science  of  finance 
was  unknown,  really  deserved  that  eppella^ 
tion.*  The  prejudices  of  the  time  did  not 
aUow  men  to  consider  that  property  in  money, 
as  well  as  in  land,  or  any  other  possession, 
ought  to  bring  in  some  return  to  its  owner. 
The  Jews,  it  is  true,  had  a  large  share  in 
causing  this  misunderstanding,  by  the  means 
they  employed  to  change  a  fair  interest  into  a 
detestable  system  of  usury ;  but  Christians,  on 
the  other  hand,  were  no  less  to  blame.  The 
historian  and  the  impartial  judge  will  thus 
view  both  sides  of  the  case,  when  considering 
the  financial  operations  of  the  Jews  in  the 
midst  of  the  Christian  nations ;  and  in  fairly 
analyzing  the  charges  against  them,  he  will, 
at  any  rate,  acknowledge  the  science  and 
talents,  as  well  as  the  cupidity  and  avarice, 
vi^hich  they  displayed.  We  must  recognise 
the  services  rendered  by  the  Jews,  both  to  the 
theory  and  practice  of  finance,  while  our  feel* 

*  To  jttdtiiy  the  Jews  from  the  accusation  of  having 
established  an  ahnost  universal  system  of  usury,  I  will 
not  repeat,  for  it  is  a  truth  no  longer  contested,  that  they 
only  gave  in  to  this  vice  in  those  countries  where  the 
ill-treatment  of  Christians  compelled  them  to  resort  to 
such  expedients  to  preserve  the  fruit  of  their  labours.-* 
Beignotf  **  Lea  Jutfs  ^Ocddentr 


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166  COMMERCE,   ETC.,   OF   THE   JEWS. 

ings  are  revolted  by  the  infamous  abuse  of 
interest,  which  brings  a  curse  like  that  of 
leprosy  upon  every  one  who  is  guilty  of  it, 
whether  bearing  the  name  of  Jew  or  Christian. 

The  enormous  rate  of  interest  exacted  by 
the  Jews  of  the  middle  ages  cannot  be  de- 
fended, but  may  be  easily  accounted  for  to 
their  own  discredit,  as  well  as  to  that  of  Chris- 
tian nations  and  princes.  Excluded  by  the 
feudal  system  from  every  honourable  and 
legitimate  career,  his  life  continually  threat- 
ened, his  property  and  means  of  subsistence 
defenceless  against  injustice  and  oppression, 
it  is  not  to  be  wondered  at  that  the  Jew 
employed  without  scruple  the  only  weapons 
which  were  left  to  him.  He  encountered 
violence  and  force  with  artifice  BXL'dL  finesse^  he 
opposed  the  law  of  the  strongest  with  calcula* 
tion  and  deep*laid  schemes:  in  a  word,  he 
brought  to  bear  the  power  of  gold  against  that 
of  iron.  Injustice  was  practised  on  both  sides, 
in  diametrically  opposite  ways ;  and  who  shall 
decide  which  was  the  most  guilty, — the  noble 
baron  who,  from  his  fortress  on  the  banks  of 
the  Rhine,  pillaged  the  vessel  of  the  passing 
navigator,  or  the  oppressed  Jew,  who,  with 
as  little  mercy,  ruined  half  Paris  by  his  usury? 

By  their  superiority  in  financial  affairs,  the 


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CHARACTER   OF   THE   OPPRESSED    JEWS.       167 

Jews  excited  popular  fury  to  the  very  utmost. 
Doubly  detested,  as  the  murderers  of  Christ 
and  the  bloodsuckers  of  Christian  wealth,  they 
were,  in  the  middle  ages,  a  special  object  of 
severity  to  the  laws,  both  ecclesiastical  and 
civil, — of  hatred  to  the  burghers,— and  of  vio- 
lence to  the  populace.  The  sovereigns  who 
gave  them  protection,  usually  made  use  of 
them  as  of  a  sponge,  which  they  allowed  to 
fill  with  the  money  of  their  subjects,  and  then 
squeezed  its  contents  into  the  Eoyal  treasury. 
They  were,  however,  sometimes  obliged  to 
leave  them  to  the  mercy  of  their  enemies,  at  a 
period  when  a  single  sermon  from  a  malevolent 
or  imprudent  monk,  or  a  single  absurd  report 
of  murder  having  been  committed  on  a  Chris- 
tian child  to  celebrate  their  passover  with  his 
blood,  or  even  a  mere  outbreak  of  blind 
fanaticism  among  the  populace,  was  sufficient 
to  bring  murder  and  pillage  upon  the  whole  of 
a  Jewish  quarter. 

All  this,  it  is  true,  was  in  opposition  to 
existing  laws,  and  might  have  been  prosecuted 
and  punished  by  the  courts  of  justice.  But 
the  laws  themselves  were  but  little  more 
lenient  to  the  Jew.  They  excluded  him  from 
every  dignity  which  might  raise  his  position, 
and    from    every  employment  which   might 


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168  CHABACTEB   OF   THE 

ameliorate  it.  The  Jews  were  debarred  by  law 
from  holding  landed  property,  from  exercising 
any  civil  or  military  office,  and  even  from  the 
right  of  citizenship ;  while  many  humiliating 
obligations  were  imposed  upon  them.  They 
were  shut  up  vdthin  the  narrow  bounds  of  a 
peculiar  quarter,  often,  as  in  many  towns  of 
Italy  and  Rome  in  particular,  locked  up  at 
night  like  cattle  in  a  yard.  Open  marks  of 
degradation  were  imposed  upon  them,  such  as 
yellow  clothes,  peaked  hats,  and  the  like.  In 
Bohemia,  there  was  an  edict  issued,  prescribing 
a  peculiar  manner  of  hanging  the  Jews,  in 
order  that  a  distinction  might  be  made  be- 
tween their  body  and  that  of  the  Christian 
criminal  who  might  share  the  same  fate.* 

Wa»  4t  possible  that  such  a  classification 
and  such  treatment  should  fail  in  producing 
an  effect  upon  the  moral  character  of  the  Jews, 
and  tending  at  once  to  enervate  and  to  harden 
the  subject  of  such  cruel  oppression  1  Can  we 
be  surprised  that  he,  whose  toleration  in  the 
society  around  him  depended  only  on  the  little 
money  he  possessed,  should  cling  to  that  pos- 
session with  the  greatest  tenacity  ?  or  that, 
finding  his  activity  compelled,  as  it  were,  to 
centre  on  this  point,  he  should  have  made  it 
*  Ut  a  Christianis  auspensis  discemerenttir. 


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OPPRESSED   JEWS.  169 

the  one  subject  of  delight,  of  absorbing  in* 
terest,  and  earthly  pleasure  ?  Can  we  be  sur* 
prised  that  his  outward  appearance  should 
have  suffered  as  well  as  his  inward  character ; 
or  that  his  countenance  should  come  to  wear 
the  expression  of  that  '^  love  of  money  which 
is  the  root  of  all  evil," — of  that  timidity  and 
trembling  of  heart  which  belongs  to  the  man 
who  lives  in  the  midst  of  distrust,  aversion, 
and  hateful  plots, — who  feels  no  security  for 
his  property,  his  life,  or  for  what,  to  the  heart 
of  the  husband  and  the  fitther,  is  as  dear  or 
dearer  than  life  ? 

Let  us  compare  these  details  of  the  sad  con- 
dition of  the  Israelites  in  the  middle  ages,  with 
the  words  written  twenty-five  centuries  before 
by  their  great  prophet  and  historian,  Moses,  in 
the  Book  of  Deuteronomy  (xxviii.  29).  After 
having  drawn  the  terrible  picture  of  their  ruin 
as  a  nation  in  the  land  of  their  fathers,  he 
concludes  with  the  following  words,  which 
evidently  refer  to  their  situation  as  wanderers 
over  the  earth : — "  And  the  Lord  shall  scatter 
thee  among  all  people,  from  the  one  end  of 
the  earth  even  unto  the  oth^r ;  and  there  thou 
shalt  serve  other  gods,  which  neither  thou  nor 
thy  fiithers  have  known,  even  wood  and  stone. 
And  among  these  nations  shalt  thou  find  no 

I 


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170  CHARACTER  OF   THE 

ease,  neither  shall  the  sole  of  thy  foot  have 
rest;  but  the  Lord  shall  give  thee  there  a 
trembling  heart,  and  failing  of  eyes^  and 
sorrow  of  mind:  and  thy  life  shall  hang  in 
doubt  before  thee;  and  thou  shalt  fear  day 
and  night,  and  shalt  have  none  assurance  of 
thy  life :  in  the  morning  thou  shalt  say, 
Would  God  it  were  even !  and  at  even  thou 
shalt  say,  Would  God  it  were  morning!  for 
the  fear  of  thine  heart  wherewith  thou  shalt 
fear,  and  for  the  sight  of  thine  eyes  which 
thou  shalt  see."  (Deut.  xxviii.  64 — 67.) 
Here  was  again  manifested  the  severity  of  God 
upon  them  that  fell*  But  ye,  O  nations  of  the 
earth  !  witnesses,  and  in  great  measure  execu* 
tioners  of  the  Divine  sentence,  boast  not  your- 
selves against  this  Israel,  so  heavily  chastened, 
but  rather  fear  for  yourselves !  Kejoice  not  at 
the  humiliation  of  the  chosen  people,  but  be 
merciful,  be  just  to  them.  Observe,  espe- 
cially, how  the  God  of  their  fathers,  while  he 
visits  their  transgression  with  most  terrible 
affliction,  does  not  forget  to  show  forth  at  the 
same  time  his  faithfulness  and  truth  to  the 
posterity  of  Jacob.  He  will  bless  those  who 
do  good  to  them,  and  will  visit  it  upon  those 
who  evil  entreat  them.  Oppressed  Israel  still 
survives  I   but  where  are  the  many  nations 


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OPPRESSED    JEWS.  171 

who  have  oppressed  them  1  Even  amid 
their  deepest  degradation,  God  has  not  only 
preserved  to  them  a  separate  existence,  bnt 
has  preserved  them  in  a  state  that  possesses 
the  greatest  capability  for  restoration  and 
renewed  life.  The  Israelite,  despised  till  he 
became  despicable,  has  yet,  by  God's  provi- 
dential dealings,  become  in  a  manner  indis* 
pensable  to  the  social  existence  of  the  world. 
Alas !  up  to  this  day,  that  people  have  supplied 
the  nations  of  the  earth  with  silver  and  gold, 
whose  high  calling  it  once  was  (and  will  be 
again !)  to  scatter  among  them  the  riches  of 
the  knowledge  and  the  glory  of  God. 

Yes,  deep  indeed  was  Israel's  &11,  and 
grievous  to  all  who  love  him  are  his  wounds, 
his  misery,  and  his  reproach.  And  yet,  by 
the  side  of  his  vices,  odious  in  their  nature, 
and  so  greatly  detested  by  the  nations,  there 
were  still  to  be  found  some  virtues  and  good 
qualities  which  the  Israelite  never  lost,  even 
in  the  time  of  his  greatest  misery.  Unhap- 
pily hardened  against  faith  in  Christ  Jesus,  he 
has  ever  continued  constant  to  his  belief  in 
Moses.  He  sometimes  sets  an  example  which 
may  make  Christians  blush,  of  temperance,  of 
chastity,  obedience  to  lawful  authority,  mercy, 
and  benevolence.    His  activity  is  $qual  to  his 

I  2 


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172  CHARACTER   OF   THE 

skill*      Though  cruellj  tormented  and  pro- 
yoked,  he  can  yet  forgive  injuries.     Beneath 
the  proof-armour  of  insensibility,  put  on  as  a 
shield  against  the  contempt  of  those  around 
him,  he  often  possessed  deep  feelings  of  kind- 
ness.    Amid  all  his  sufferings  from  without, 
family  peace,  and  a  happy  home,  were  usually 
his  portion.      Wearied  with  long  days  and 
weeks  of  labour  and  insult,  he  found  repose  in 
the  bosom  of  his  family,  by  the  light  of  his 
Sabbath  lamp.     There,  the  Israelite,  so  con-* 
stantly,  so  universally  spumed,  became  again 
a  patriarch.     He  broke  the  bread,  and  blessed 
the  cup,  after  the  manner  of  his  forefathers, 
aft;er  the  manner  of  that  very  Jesus  and  his 
apostles,   whom  to  his  own  sorrow,    he  so 
blindly  refuses  to  acknowledge.      The  very 
expression  of  his  countenance  betrays,  even  in 
its  degeneracy,  a  far  nobler  origin  than  a  care- 
less and  superficial  world  would  care  to  recog* 
nise,  or  even  to  look  for.     The  Jewish  skuU 
and    the    Jevnsh    countenance,    in    many  a 
maiden  of  that  nation,  offer  even  now,  to  a 
Winckelman  or  a  Lavater,  a  type  of  Oriental 
beauty.    Nor  do  we  invariably  find  an  Isaac 
of  York,  beside  an  interesting  Rebecca,  nor  a 
Shylock  of   Venice,    beside    a    fiedr  Jessica, 
^^  iCshamed  to  be  her  fiEither's  child." 


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.     OPPRESSED   JEWS*  173 

Oftentimes  the  conntenance  of  the  Israelite 
himself  brings  before  oar  imagination  one  of 
the  noble  or  amia^ble  characters  of  the  Old 
Testament, — nay,  has  furnished  a  model  to 
the  painter,  when  representing  the  King  of 
Israel  upon  the  cross. 

The  peculiar  feature,  both  of  Israel  and  his 
history,  consists  in  striking  contrasts.  The 
most  marked  election,  and  the  most  terrible 
reprobation ;  the  blessing  of  Abraham  the 
pastoral  chief,  and  the  curse  of  Judas's  thirty 
pieces  of  silver ;  the  rejection  of  the  Messiah, 
and  yet  the  ever-abiding  and  close  connexion 
of  the  Messiah  with  the  Jews. 

We  will  now  resume  the  thread  of  events. 
Having  sketched  the  social  position  of  the  Jews 
in  Europe  during  the  middle  ages,  and  noticed 
the  general  features  by  which  it  was  distin- 
guished, we  shall  now  draw  from  recorded  facts 
an  account  of  what  befell  them  in  particular, 
in  the  principal  states  of  Christian  Europe. 

The  Jews  in  France,  so  signally  patronized 
by  the  Carlovingian  race,  experienced  very 
different  treatment  after  the  extincdon  of  that 
dynasty.  The  kings  of  the  house  of  Caput 
were,  in  general,  little  inclined  to  show  them 
favour.  At  the  same  time,  nothing  could  b^ 
more  variable  than  the  different  edicts  pro- 


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174  THE   JEWS   IN   FRANCE. 

mulgated  in  the  different  reigns  concerning 
the  Jews.  Towards  the  close  of  the  eleventh 
century  they  were  banished,  and  afterwards 
recalled  by  Philip  I.  In  the  reign  of  Philip 
Augustus  they  were  at  first  banished  (1182), 
and  then  re-admitted  upon  certain  conditions, 
one  of  which  was  the  obligation  to  wear  a 
little  wheel  upon  their  dress  as  a  mark. 
Louis  VIL  (a.d.  1223)  treated  them  all  as  his 
serfs,  and  with  one  stroke  of  his  pen  remitted 
to  his  Christian  subjects  all  their  debts  to  the 
Jews.  Louis  IX.  (St  Louis)  distinguished 
himself  above  the  rest  by  his  hatred  of  the 
Jews,  on  account  of  their  usury,  their  blasphe* 
mies,  and  their  Talmud.  Philip  the  Fair  (in 
the  early  part  of  the  fourteenth  century),  well 
known  as  the  destroyer  of  the  Knights  Tem- 
plars, displayed  at  the  same  time  his  hatred 
to  the  Jewish  people,  and  his  love  for  their 
money  and  possessions«  He  banished  them 
twice  from  the  kingdom,  in  two  succeeding 
years  (1306-7).  They  were  treated  un&ovur- 
ably  by  his  son,  Louis  X.,  while  Philip  V.  the 
Long,  his  brother  and  successor,  granted  them 
favour  and  protection.  In  his  reign,  however, 
(a.d.  1341,)  we  find  again  brought  forward 
against  them  the  usual  accusations  of  treason, 
poisoning  the  wells,  &c.,  &c. ;   and  on  this 


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THE   JEWS   IN   FRAKCE.  175 

account  many  were  burnt,  many  massacred, 
banished,  or  condemned  to  heavy  fines.  The 
year  1850,  in  the  reign  of  John  II.,  was 
the  beginning  of  a  time  of  rest  for  them. 
During  the  general  distress  of  the  country, 
and  the  captivity  of  the  king  in  England,  the 
Jews  in  France  enjoyed  a  little  quiet,  some 
degree  of  favour  from  the  States-General,  and 
of  praise  from  historians.  Charles  V.  confirmed 
these  privileges.  In  1370  they  were  again 
banished,  but  soon  recalled  under  Charles  VI. 
and  treated  with  more  favour.  The  end  of 
this  century  witnessed  a  fresh  decree  for  their 
banishment,  which,  however,  was  never  put 
in  execution,  but  all  debts  to  them  were 
cancelled.  Similar  decrees  of  banishment 
have  since  been  often  proclaimed,  but  allowed 
either  in  part  or  entirely  to  fall  to  the  ground. 
The  various  enactments  of  ecclesiastical  law 
against  the  Jews,  are  more  useful  in  furnishing 
information  as  to  the  rights  and  privileges 
which  in  France  and  elsewhere  they  formerly 
enjoyed,  than  of  any  penalties  and  disqualifica* 
tions  which  were  carried  out  into  actual  execu* 
tion  against  them.  Thus,  by  the  Council  of 
Yannes,  a.d.  465,  Christians,  and  especially 
their  clergy,  were  forbidden  to  eat  with  Jews. 
The  Second  Council  of  Orleans,  some  years 


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176  THE   JEWS   IN    FRANCE. 

later,  prohibited  marriage  between  Jews  and 
Christians.  The  Council  of  Beziers  (a.d.  1246) 
refused  permission  to  consult  a  Jewish  physi- 
cian. The  Council  of  Chateau-Gonthier  ex- 
cluded Jews  from  holding  the  office  of  bailli, 
or  any  other  which  would  give  them  the  right 
to  punish  Christians.  It  is  precisely  from 
regulations  such  as  these,  which  appear  to 
have  been  seldom  put  in  execution,  that  we 
learn  in  what  position  the  Jews  stood  with 
respect  to  the  rest  of  the  population,  before 
these  different  prohibitions  were  issued. 

Nothing  could  be  more  variable  than  the 
principles  of  legislation  in  France,  during  the 
middle  ages,  with  regard  to  the  Jews.  They 
were  banished,  and  again  recalled ;  usury  was 
at  one  time  forbidden,  at  another  allowed 
under  certain  restrictions ;  just  as  it  happened 
that  the  king,  nobles,  or  chief  citizens,  wanted 
the  help  of  the  Jews,  or  could  do  without 
them.  Above  all,  having  no  fixed  position  in 
society,  we  find  them  treated  at  one  time 
as  villeins  belonging  to  the  soil,  "glebae 
adscripti,"  or  as  slaves  (servi)^  and  as  such, 
sold  or  alienated  with  the  domains  of  the  kinjg; 
or  great  vassals  of  the  Crown,  as  a  part  of  the 
property.  At  another  time,  on  the  contrary, 
they  were  in  the  possession  of  liberties  and 


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THE   JEWS   IX  FRANCE.  177 

privfleges,  the  protection  of  which  was,  in 
France,  entrusted  to  a  particular  oflSicer.  The 
first  traces  of  this  office  appear  under  the 
Carloyingian  dynasty,  when  a  certain  Count 
Everard  is  spoken  of,  in  the  year  828,  as 
**  Magister  Judeeorum,"  governor  of,  or  agent 
for,  the  Jews.  In  later  times  it  was  the  pro* 
tector  or  guardian-general  of  the  Jews,  upon 
whose  subordinates,  called  "guardians,"  the 
Jews  depended  in  matters  of  jurisdiction,  both 
civil  and  criminal,  and  to  whom  they  addressed 
their  complaints.  The  "Protector  of  the 
Jews"  was,  for  many  centuries,  chosen  from 
among  the  highest  nobility  of  the  kingdom ; 
thus,  in  1357,  the  Count  d'Etampes,  a  prince 
of  the  blood,  held  this  office,  and  in  1424 
John  de  Forbin,  brother  of  the  governor  of 
Provence.  That  the  office  was  a  lucrative  one 
may  be  inferred  from  the  nature  of  the  times 
and  of  the  people.  The  "Protector,"  how- 
ever, was  not  always  the  friend  of  the  Jews; 
nay,  sometimes  he  was  their  bitter  enemy. 

It  has  been  already  remarked,  that  the 
nearer  we  approach  the  Pyrenees  the  more 
fevourable,  generally  speaking,  was  the  posi- 
tion of  the  Jews.  In  the  south  of  France, 
most  of  the  trade,  especially  that  with  the 
East,  in  spices,  remained  in  their  hands;  at 
I  3 


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178  THE  JEWS   IN   FRANCE. 

Marseilles,  for  instance,  formerly  cdHed  Hebraa^ 
or  the  Jewish,  from  the  great  business  carried 
on  by  Jews  in  that  place.  Nevertheless,  in 
these  provinces  even,  local  statutes  placed 
Jews  on  a  level  with  the  outcasts  of  society. 
At  Toulouse,  as  late  as  the  thirteenth  century, 
a  Jew  was  compelled  to  receive  yearly  in 
Easter  week  a  blow  on  the  ^e  before  the 
doors  of  the  principal  church,  in  remembrance 
of  a  town  which  they  had  delivered  up  to  the 
Saracens.  At  Beziers,  the  bishop  yearly  on 
Palm  Sunday  mounted  the  pulpit,  and  solemnly 
exhorted  the  multitude  to  avenge  the  death  of 
the  Saviour  upon  the  Jews  of  the  place.  After 
the  year  1160,  a  sum  of  money  was  yearly 
received  as  a  substitute  for  the  continuance  of 
this  insulting  usage. 

The  theol(^ical  studies  of  the  Jews  and 
their  Hebrew  learning,  met  with  more  favour 
in  the  south  of  France,  than  in  any  of  the  other 
provinces.  In  the  north,  except  at  Paris, 
where  there  was  a  Rabbinical  school  of  some 
note,  we  find  no  trace  of  any  similar  institu- 
tion ;  whereas  in  the  south,  Montpellier,  Mar* 
seilles,  Narbonne,  Beziers,  and  other  towns, 
were  celebrated  for  their  synagogues  and  aca- 
demies, as  well  as  for  their  Rabbinical  writers, 
commentators,  and  grammarians.     We  may 


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THE   JEWS   IN   FRANCE.  179 

name  Grerson  the  elder  and  Jacob  Bar  Jekar, 
in  the  eleventh  century;  and  lastly,  Rabbi 
Solomon  of  Montpellier,  in  the  twelfth,  a 
leader  among  those  Rabbins  who  so  strenuously 
exerted  themselves  to  oppose  the  philosophical 
and  anti-traditional  tendencies  of  the  celebrated 
Maimonides^  of  Cordova.  The  French  syna* 
gogues  took  the  part  of  the  traditional  school, 
against  the  majority  of  those  in  Spain  and 
Provence.  Another  French  Rabbi,  of  no  ordi- 
nary celebrity,  succeeded  in  reconciling  the 
synagogues  of  that  country  to  the  writings  of 
Maimonides.  This  was  David,  the  son  of 
Joseph  Kimchi,  descended  from  a  Spanish 
femUy,  which  had  produced  many  learned 
men,  who  gained  great  reputation  as  a  Hebrew 
grammarian.  His  name  ranks  high  both 
among  Jews  and  Christians,  as  a  commentator 
on  the  Old  Testament,  and  the  writings  of  the 
earlier  Rabbins.  Lastly,  Rabbi  Solomon  Ben 
Isaac,  who  lived  in  the  eleventh  century,  be- 
longs to  the  learned  Jews  of  France,  though 
the  name  of  Yarchi,  which  he  bears,  is  appa^ 
rently  derived  from  the  town  of  Luna,  in  Spain. 
Besides  his  other  writings,  this  Rabbi  is  famed 
for  his  Commentaries  upon  aU  the  books  of  the 
Old  Testament  Bom  at  Troyes,  in  Cham- 
pagne (1105),  he  appears  to  have  reached  the 


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180  'THE  JEWS   IN   FttANCB. 

age  of  sixty-five.  Many  writers  have  sketched 
for  him  a  life  of  adventures,  of  which  a  large 
portion  helong  to  the  region  of  romance ;  not 
so,  however,  his  travels  for  seven  years,  during 
which  he  visited  Germany,  Italy,  Greece, 
Palestine,  and  Persia. 

An  interesting  portion  of  the  Jewish  history 
in  the  middle  ages  is  connected  with  the  king- 
dom of  Provence.  There  the  influence  of 
Spain,  always  considerable  in  the  south  of 
[France,  stiU  predominated,  especially  while 
Provence  continued  an  independent  state. 
The  practice  of  medicine  was  chiefly  in  the 
hands  of  Jews,  in  spite  of  the  decree  of  the 
Council.  King  R£n6,  in  the  fifteenth  century, 
was  surrounded  by  Jewish  physicians  and 
astronomers  or  astrologers.  When  Provence 
was  incorporated  with  France,  in  the  year 
1481,  the  Jews  were  soon  banished  by  an 
edict  of  Louis  XII.  The  descendants  of  some 
of  the  Provencal  Jews,  having  embraced  Chris- 
tianity, are  met  with  in  later  times  among  the 
nobility  of  that  province. 

In  proportion  as  we  advance  towards  the 
north  of  Europe,  we  find  the  children  of  the 
captivity  less  prosperous  and  less  stationary. 
Norway,  Sweden,  and  Denmark  had  no 
Jewish  inhabitants  during  the  middle  ages. 


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THB  JEWS   IN    ENGLAND.  181 

In  the  two  former  countries,  a  few  wanderers 
have  settled  since  the  time  of  the  Reformation. 
We  find  that  in  England  they  continued,  till 
near  the  end  of  the  thirteenth  century,  in  a 
state  of  degradation  and  wretchedness,  ren- 
dered more  striking  by  its  contrast  to  the 
wealth  they  actually  possessed.  Here,  even 
more  than  elsewhere,  were  the  Jews,  during 
the  middle  ages,  treated  as  cattle  fattened  for 
the  slaughter  ;  kings  and  people  alike  looked 
upon  them  merely  as  subjects  for  extortion 
and  persecution.  The  Jews  on  their  side, 
next  to  the  religion  of  their  fathers,  from 
which  men  sought  to  tear  them  by  force> 
clung  to  nothing  so  much  as  their  riches, 
gained  with  much  labour  by  banking  and 
usury.  For  many  years  the  houses  and  syna- 
gogues which  they  bought  in  the  towns  of 
England,  often  taken  from  them  for  nothing, 
or  by  a  forced  sale,  bore  marks  of  their  wealth. 
It  is,  however,  unjust  to  say  (as  one  historian 
does),  that  no  traces  of  schools  or  learned  men 
are  to  be  found  among  the  English  Jews  of 
the  middle  ages.  More  exact  research  con- 
firms the  remarks  of  Rabbi  Salomon  Ben 
Virga  upon  the  learned  men,  and  especially 
the  physicians,  which  that  nation  can  boast  of 
in  Great  Britain,  during  the  time  of  their 


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182  THE  JEWS   IN   ENGLAND^ 

greatest  obscurity.  It  is  certain  that  they 
possessed  extensive  libraries,  of  which  they 
were  stripped  before  their  final  expulsion. 
History  also  records  public  disputations  upon 
religion  between  Bishops  of  the  Church  and 
Jewish  Doctors,  giving  manifest  evidence 
of  the  knowledge  possessed  by  the  English 
Jews  of  that  period,  in  matters  of  a  higher 
nature  than  mere  worldly  gain. 

The  first  residence  of  the  Jews  in  England 
takej9  its  date  from  the  time  of  the  Heptarchy, 
and  the  first  mention  of  their  existence  is  made 
in  an  ecclesiastical  canon  of  Egbert,  Arch* 
bishop  of  York  (a.d.  740),  which  forbade 
Christians  taking  any  part  in  the  Jewish 
festivals.  The  laws  of  Edward  the  Confessor 
(a.d.  1041)  declare  them  the  property  of  the 
king,  in  the  same  manner  as  in  France.  Many 
Jews  seem  to  have  come  over  to  England  from 
Normandy  with  William  the  Conqueror.  We 
find  especial  mention  of  them  made  in  the 
time  of  William  Rufus,  the  second  king  of  the 
Norman  line.  This  king,  himself  the  enemy 
of  the  clergy,  and  but  little  attached  to  the 
Church,  permitted  the  Jews  to  defend  their 
religion  in  public,  as  much  as  they  pleased. 
What,  however,  he  liked  best  in  them  was 
their  wealth,  which,  for  his  own  sake  no  less 


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THE   JEWS   IN   ENGLAND;  183 

than  theirs,  he  gave  them  every  opportunity 
of  amassing,  especially  from  the  clergy.  At 
that  time  the  Jews  possessed  in  London  and 
elsewhere  (as  at  Oxford  and  York)  consider- 
able mansions,  resembling  the  castles  of  the 
nobility  in  their  exterior;  and  whole  streets 
were  afterwards  named  from  them. 

It  was  under  Henry  II.  and  his  sons  (in  the 
twelfth  century)  that  the  cruel  treatment  and 
plundering  of  the  Jews  reached  its  height 
At  the  coronation  of  Richard  Coeur-de-Iion, 
they  were  cruelly  persecuted  and  massacred 
on  a  pretended  charge  of  witchcraft.  At 
Stamford,  they  suffered  grievously  during  the 
same  reign,  from  the  knights  preparing  for  the 
Crusades.  At  York,  the  hatred  of  the  populace 
vented  itself  in  a  terrible  attack  upon  the  Jews, 
which  drove  them  to  seek  refuge  in  a  royal 
castle  in  the  neighbourhood.  When  pursued 
and  besieged  there,  they  fell  into  such  despair 
as  to  slay  with  their  own  hands  their  wives, 
their  children,  and  one  another,  abandoning 
to  the  flames  all  the  property  they  had  brought 
with  them.  King  Eichard,  whose  treatment 
of  the  Jews  was,  to  a  certain  extent,  regulated 
by  justice,  punished  the  authors  of  this  cruel 
outrage.  On  his  return  from  Palestine,  and 
subsequent  escape  from  prison,  he  established 


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184  THE  JEWS   IN   ENGLAND; 

"  itinerant  justicers,"  who  were  to  go  through 
the  kingdom  and  take  cognizance  of  the  afiiairs 
of  the  Jews.  But  these  are  evident  proofs 
that  their  real  good  was  not  what  the  king 
had  in  view ;  he  only  thought  to  secure  their 
miserahle  money,  or  rather  the  money  of  his 
subjects,  which  the  usury  of  this  unhappy  race 
served  to  bring  into  his  treasury. 

The  same  system  of  policy,  but  accompa- 
nied vnth  greater  meanness,  was  practised  by 
Richard's  brother  and  successor.  King  John 
began  his  reign  (a.d.  1199)  by  granting  to  the 
Jews  all  kinds  of  liberties  and  privileges ;  but 
he  soon  showed  in  what  manner  he  meant  to 
exercise  his  goodwill.  To  dispose  of  the  purses 
and  properties  of  the  Jews,  as  presents  to  his 
friends,  or  to  enrich  his  own  treasury,  was  but 
a  trifling  indication  of  his  royal  purposes 
towards  them.  Not  content  with  appropriat- 
ing to  himself  their  known  treasures,  he  com- 
pelled them,  by  the  most  cruel  torments  (pull- 
ing out  their  teeth  or  eyes),  to  reveal  the 
treasure  which  they  had  concealed.  In  this 
manner  he  extorted  from  a  Jew  of.  Bristol  the 
sum  of  10,000  marcs  of  silver  (a.d.  1210). 

Henry  TIT.,  the  son  and  successor  of  John 
(a.d.  1217 — 1272)  treated  the  Jews  upon  the 
same  principles.      Privileges   and  protection 


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THE   JEWS   IN    ENGLAND.  185 

from  the  clergy  and  populace  were  granted  to 
the  Jews,  only  to  afford  the  king  an  opportu- 
nity of  enriching  himself  at  their  expense. 
Their  persecution  consequently  became  still 
more  severe;  and  yet  princes  such  as  these 
dfar^({  to  found  establishments  for  the  conver- 
sion of  the  Jews !  and  conversions  sometimes 
took  place,  the  sincerity  of  which,  however, 
can  rarely  be  ascertained.  Even  these  conver- 
sions gave  fresh  occasion  for  the  old  accusa- 
tions against  them, — of  murdering  Christian 
children,  particularly  those  of  their  former 
co-religionists. 

The  position  of  the  Jews  under  all  these 
inflictions  became  so  unbearable,  that  they 
earnestly  petitioned  the  king  to  allow  them  to 
leave  the  country.  This  request  was  not 
granted,  and  it  was  not  till  the  year  1290  that 
Edward  I.,  in  accordance  with  a  proposal  from 
the  Parliament,  gave  sentence  for  their  per- 
petual banishment.  The  Jews,  with  their 
families,  and  all  the  moveable  property  they 
had  been  able  to  rescue,  quitted  the  country,  to 
the  number  of  fifteen  or  sixteen  thousand. 
Even  to  the  very  last  moment,  however,  such 
exactions  and  cruelties  were  inflicted  upon 
them  that  many  threw  themselves  into  the  sea, 


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186  THE   JEWS   IN   GEBMANT. 

and  others  reached  the  Continent  in  a  pitiable 
state  of  misery  and  destitution. 

Tradition  assigns  a  very  early  date  to  the 
establishment  of  the  Jews  in  Germany.  Some, 
indeed,  seem  to  have  come  there  in  the  train 
of  the  Roman  armies,  and  to  have  settled  in 
the  Roman  colonies  in  those  parts,  especially 
on  the  banks  of  the  Mease  and  Rhine.  An 
edict  of  the  Emperor  Constantine  shows  that 
in  the  year  321  they  were  already  established 
at  Cologne.  In  that  town  they  soon  became 
numerous,  and  prosperous  in  commerce,  while 
they  continued  to  enjoy  many  important  privi- 
leges.  The  commencement  of  the  middle  ages 
in  Germany,  as  elsewhere,  put  an  end  to  this, 
comparatively  speaking,  &vourable  position 
of  the  Jews.  From  that  time,  there,  as  in 
England,  a  series  of  oppression  and  degrada- 
tion ensued,  which  is  the  more  wearisome  to 
detail  because  in  Germany  it  lasted  longer, 
and  was  not  interrupted  by  any  banishment. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  history  of  the  German 
Jews  affords  more  proofs  of  learning  and 
intellectual  culture  than  that  of  the  English, 
though  far  less  than  was  manifested  in  France 
or  Italy.  We  find  mention  made  of  many 
learned  men  who  kept  up  the  study  of  theo* 


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THE   JEW8   IN    GERMANY.  187 

logical  learning  and  grammatical  science. 
The  German  Rabbins  held  frequent  correspond- 
ence with  those  of  Spain,  and  this  intercourse 
was  enlivened  by  an  occasional  interchange  of 
visits.  The  writings  of  Yarchi  and  other  com- 
mentators of  the  same  stamp  were  known  and 
studied  by  the  learned  Jews  of  Germany. 
We  find  mention  made  of  many  assemblies,  or 
general  councils,  held  by  the  Jews,  for  discuss- 
ing matters  of  religion  or  theology.  Among 
the  German  Rabbins  of  the  middle  ages,  whose 
names  and  works  have  been  recorded  by 
various  writers,*  we  may  mention  Rabbi 
Petachia  of  Ratisbon,  a  celebrated  traveller, 
in  the  twelfth  century.  Soon  after  the  inven- 
tion of  printing,  the  German  Jews  distin- 
guished themselves  by  their  editions  of  the 
Hebrew  Old  Testament  (1489),  and  of  divers 
Jewish  authors  and  commentators.  The  de- 
scendants of  a  rabbi  famed  among  the  Israelites 
of  his  day  (Rabbi  Moses,  of  Spires)  settled  in 
Lombardy,  and  distinguished  themselves  in 
this  line ;  especially  Rabbi  Gerson,  his  great 
nephew,  who  set  up  a  press  first  at  Venice 
and  afterwards  at  Constantinople. 

About  this  period  we  read  of  the  conversion 
of  some  German  Jews  to  the  Christian  faith. 

•  Wolf,  Bartolocci,  and  others,  in  their  "  BibliothecaB 
Babbinics.'* 


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188  THE  JEWS   IN    GERMANY. 

One  interesting  case  occurred  at  Cologne,  in 
the  middle  of  the  twelfth  century,  that  of 
Herman  de  Kappenberg,  a  monk  of  West- 
phalia, who  wrote  a  touching  account  of  his 
own  conversion  to  Christianity. 

In  every  other  respect,  Germany,  during 
these  centuries,  exercised  a  deadening  and 
crushing  influence  on  the  energies  of  the 
exiles  from  Palestine.  Rejected,  excluded, 
and  excluding  themselves  from  all  that  might 
have  led  to  a  more  honourable  position,  the 
great  mass  of  Jews  in  this  country  also  seemed 
to  exist  only  for  the  payment  of  taxes  and 
fines,  for  which  they  sought  to  indemnify 
themselves  by  extorting  the  greatest  possible 
amount  of  usury,  to  the  increasing  deteriora- 
tion of  their  national  character  from  genera- 
tion to  generation. 

The  Jews  in  Germany  never  had  to  com- 
plain of  oppression  proceeding  directly  from 
the  Emperor,  because  they  were  placed  in  a 
peculiar  position  with  respect  to  the  head  of 
that  empire.  The  situation  assigned  to  them 
by  the  feudal  system  of  Europe,  without  the 
bounds  as  it  were  of  the  Christian  body  politic, 
caused  them  to  depend  immediately  upon  the 
Emperor,  or  rather  the  empire,  and  to  bear 
the  appellation  of  '^  Servants  of  the  Imperial 


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THE  JEWS   IN   GERMANY.  189 

chamber."*  This  name  is  sometimes  incor- 
rectly considered  to  indicate  either  a  state  of 
slavery,  like  that  of  ancient  times,  or  of  serf* 
dom,  as  in  the  middle  ages ;  whereas  this  title 
really  denoted  an  exemption  from  any  other 
authority  except  the  Imperial  power.  It  has 
also  been  thought  that,  at  all  events,  the  Em- 
peror might  dispose  of  the  life  and  property  of 
every  Jew  within  his  dominions.  But  the 
exercise  of  such  a  right  would  have  been 
absurdly  inconsistent  with  the  Emperor's  own 
interests ;  on  the  contrary,  together  with  his 
rights  over  the  Jews  was  connected  the  obliga- 
tion of  protecting  them  from  and  against  all 
others,  and  of  maintaining  their  existence  as  a 
synagogue  and  a  nation.  Upon  these  exclu- 
sively Imperial  rights  over  the  Jews,  no  prince 
or  free  town  in  Germany  could  encroach  with- 
out the  Emperor's  express  permission;  and 
even  with  that  permission,  the  protection 
granted  to  that  part  of  the  population  must  be 
scrupulously  respected.  Sometimes,  too,  the 
Emperor,  regarding  himself  as  the  head  of  the 
feudal  system  throughout  the  Continent  of 
Europe,  claimed  rights  over  the  Jews,  even 
beyond  the  limits  of  the  Empire,  e.y.,  in  France 
and  Italy. 

*  Serri  Camene  Lnperialis  et  Gennanicae. 


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190  THE  JEWS    IN    GERMANY. 

This  direct  and  exclusive  dependance  of  the 
Jews  upon  the  Imperial  power  might  certainly 
have  operated  to  their  advantage,  by  protect- 
ing them  from  other  hostile  powers,  and  thus 
have  forwarded  their  attainment  of  liberty  and 
civilization.  But  we  know  that  the  Imperial 
authority  in  Germany,  though  imposing  in 
name  and  splendid  in  appearance,  was  in 
reality  of  little  weight.  It  possessed  neither 
the  power  nor  the  promptitude  to  repress  any 
outbreak  of  popular  fury  caused  by  religious 
fanaticism,  or  excited  by  the  wealth  and  usury 
of  the  Jews  themselves. 

Some  frightful  instances  of  such  outrages 
have  been  already  specified,  in  the  time  of  the 
first  Crusade.  They  were  repeated  more  than 
once  in  later  times,  with  still  more  terrible 
violence,  throughout  the  empire  and  elsewhere. 
The  Jews  in  France  and  the  Netherlands  were 
but  just  beginning  to  breathe  after  the  fury  of  the 
Pastoureaux  (a  set  of  fanatics  of  that  time),  who, 
it  is  said,  had  put  to  death  whole  synagogues ; 
when  a  new  storm  burst  upon  them  from  the 
banks  of  the  Rhine.  A  certain  man,  named 
Armleder,  an  inn-keeper  by  profession,  stirred 
up  (1337),  upon  some  pretext,  the  populace 
of  those  countries  against  the  Jews,  with  so 
much  success,  that  in  Alsace  alone  more  than 


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THE  JEWS   IN    GERMANY.  191 

1,500  of  that  nation  fell  victims.  Some  years 
after,  in  1348,  a  fresh  pretext  for  killing  the 
Jews  was  found  in  an  epidemic  malady, 
resembling,  in  a  degree,  the  cholera  morbus  of 
our  days.  Half  Europe  was  visited  with  this 
terrible  scourge,  and  the  populace  cast  the 
whole  blame  of  it  on  the  Jews,  declaring  that 
they  had  poisoned  the  wells.  A  general 
massacre  was  the  consequence,  against  which 
princes,  magistrates,  bishops,  and  the  Pope 
himself,  remonstrated  in  vain.  In  the  south 
of  Germany,  and  in  Switzerland,  the  persecu- 
tion raged  with  most  violence :  Duke  Albert, 
of  Austria,  who  wished  to  spare  the  Jews,  was 
compelled  by  force  to  condemn  five  hundred 
of  them  to  the  flames.  At  Esslingen,  they 
shut  themselves  up  in  the  synagogue,  and 
killed  one  another.  At  Basle,  a  house  filled 
with  Jewish  fugitives  was  burnt,  and  the 
magistrates  were  compelled  to  promise  with 
an  oath,  that  they  would  not  allow  any  Jew 
to  establish  himself  in  the  city  for  the  space  of 
200  years.  From  this  time  also  they  were  no 
longer  tolerated  at  Zurich  or  Berne.  At 
Strasburg,  they  were  broken  on  the  wheel  and 
burnt  by  hundreds,  and  their  synagogue  de- 
molished to  make  way  for  a  chapel.  From 
the  year  1389,  all  residence  in  that  dty  was 


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192       THE   JEWS   IN   THE   N£T|1£RIAND8. 

forbidden  them,  and  (with  the  exception  of  a 
few  families),  no  Jew  suffered  to  remain  in  the 
place  till  the  time  of  the  French  Revolution, 
four  hundred  years  after.  In  Frankfort,  while 
pillaging  the  houses  of  the  Jews,  a  fire  was 
kindled,  which  destroyed  a  quarter  of  the  city. 
Impunity  was  almost  everywhere  granted  to 
the  perpetrators  of  these  atrocities  by  Imperial 
edicts. 

The  history  of  the  Jews  in  the  Netherlands 
during  the  middle  ages  is,  on  a  smaller  scale, 
much  like  that  of  Germany  and  the  north  of 
France.  Jews,  were  early  settled  in  the  pro- 
vinces of  Belgium  and  the  northern  part  of 
the  Netherlands.  A  few  centuries  later,  a 
celebrated  writer  on  commerce*  declared, 
that  the  Jews  formed  an  essential  portion  of 
a  mercantile  nation;  but  at  the  period  of 
which  I  speak  this  principle  was  not  under- 
stood in  a  way  to  benefit  the  Israelitish  exiles, 
and  their  connexion,  with  either  sovereigns 
or  people,  was  on  a  very  different  footing. 
Nevertheless,  the  records  of  history  bear  wit- 
ness to  the  fact,  that  after  the  invasion  of  the 
Normans,  the  commerce  in  those  provinces 
was  all  carried  on  by  Jews,  and  that  the 

*  Becherches  sur  le  Commerce,  par  Van  den  Oader- 
menlen,  t.  zi.  p.  133. 


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THE   JEWS   IN   THE   NETHERLANDS,         193 

entire  failure  of  trade  in  Liege  must  be  attri« 
buted  to  their  banishment  from  that  renowned 
Episcopal  city. 

Jews  were  already  living  in  flanders  at  the 
time  of  the  Crusades.  In  later  times,  fugitives 
from  France  and  England  established  them« 
selves  in  that  country.  They  were  driven  out 
in  the  twelfth  century,  but  by  the  fourteenth 
had  already  settled  there  again  in  great 
numbers.  In  Brabant,  they  were  sometimes 
found  useful  and  protected,  sometimes  se* 
verely  persecuted  and  oppressed.  Their  final 
banishment  from  the  duchy  was  caused  by  a 
charge  of  sacrilege,  an  accusation  which  had 
often  before  brought  great  numbers  to  the 
stake.  In  1370,  the  populace  accused  them 
of  having  often  pierced  the  holy  wafer;  the 
memory  of  this  fact,  and  the  signal  vengeance 
which  followed,  has  been  preserved  by  Jubi- 
lees, the  last  of  which  was  celebrated  in  the 
year  1820.  The  Jews  also  have  perpetuated 
the  remembrance  of  this  catastrophe  in  an 
elegy,  in  which  the  first  victim  of  it  was  said 
to  be  a  rich  banker  of  Enghien,  named  Jona- 
than. 

In  Guelderland,  the  Jews  were  numerous, 
and  enjoyed  the  protection  of  its  counts  (after- 
wards dukes),  especially  at  Zutphen,  Does- 

K 


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194   THE  JEWS  IN  THE  NETHERLANDS. 

burg,  and  Amheim.  In  the  latter  dty,  about 
the  middle  of  the  fifteenth  century,  a  Jew  was 
appointed  physician  to  the  town,  and  the 
magistrates  strictly  prohibited  any  ill-treat- 
ment of  them  either  in  public  or  private.  In 
the  same  century,  however,  a  noble  lady  of 
Guelderland  was  burnt  at  Cologne  for  having 
married  a  Jew,  which,  in  some  countries,  was 
a  crime  equivalent  to  adultery,  according  to 
the  laws  of  those  days. 

In  Utrecht,  and  the  different  places  belong- 
ing to  the  Episcopate,  the  Jews  resided  till  the 
year  1444,  at  which  time  they  were  driven 
completely  out  of  the  town.  In  later  times» 
till  the  revolution  of  1795  in  Holland,  a  resi* 
dence  in  Utrecht  was  still  forbidden,  while  in 
the  neighbouring  village  of  Maarssen  the  Jews 
were  numerous  and  influential. 

Holland,  Zealand,  and  Friesland  received, 
about  the  same  period,  their  Jewish  population 
from  Hainault,  where  many  Jews  had  sought 
refuge  after  their  banishment  from  France  by 
PhUip  the  Fair.  We  find  William  the  Good, 
in  1304,  not  only  favouring  the  Jews,  but 
zealous  for  converting  them  by  means  of  the 
clergy.  The  Jews,  in  later  times,  are  more 
than  once  mentioned  in  the  history  of  these 
countries.    The  house  of  Burgundy  seems  to 


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THB   JEWS   IN  POLAND.  195 

have  been  less  favourably  disposed  towards 
them,  and,  under  Charles  Y.,  theur  sojourn  in 
Holland  was  forbidden  by  repeated  edicts. 
In  subsequent  years,  the  Jewish  population  in 
Holland  was  much  increased  in  consequence 
of  their  banishment  from  Spain  and  Portugal ; 
of  which  an  account  will  be  given  in  the  next 
Book. 

We  have  not  yet  noticed  the  Sdavonian 
nations  in  connexion  with  the  Jews.  It  is 
only  in  the  centuries  succeeding  the  middle 
ages  that  this  history  acquires  an  especial 
interest.  But  very  few  were  settled  in  Russia 
during  this  period,  and  they  seem  to  have 
come  to  Bohemia,  Moravia,  and  Poland,  as 
emigrants  fix>m  France  and  Italy.  They  were 
already  to  be  found  at  Prague  before  the  end 
of  the  tenth  century.  Boleslaus  II.,  soon 
after  the  national  reception  of  the  Gospel, 
granted  them  permission  to  build  a  synagogue, 
in  recompense  for  the  assistance  they  gave  in 
his  wars  with  the  Pagan  inhabitants. 

The  Jews  have  existed  in  Poland  very  early, 
and  in  great  numbers,  and  they  are  distin- 
gtdshed  by  peculiar  characteristics.  Among 
their  coreligionists  in  other  countries  they 
have  the  reputation  of  extraordinary  sa- 
gacity,— a  sagacity  which,  at  their  nocturnal 
K  2 


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196  THE   JEWS  IN   POLAND. 

studies  y  they  employ  in  elucidating  the 
Bible,  Talmud,  and  Cabbala ;  and  which,  in 
their  daily  occupations^  they  turn  to  account 
by  their  clever  and  often  cunning  manage- 
ment of  trade,  which  in  that  country  is 
exclusively  in  their  hands. 

The  beauty  of  the  Polish  Jews,  both  men 
and  women,  is  remarkable,  partly  as  the  cha- 
racteristic feature  of  their  nation,  and  partly  as 
an  endowment  which  they  share  in  common 
with  the  population  of  that  interesting  country. 
In  the  earlier  centuries,  the  Jews  enjoyed  very 
peculiar  privileges  and  exceptions,  for  which 
they  were  in  great  part  indebted  to  Bolesk 
iaus  v.,  Duke  of  Poland  (1264).  His  great* 
grandson.  King  Cassimer,  showed  them  still 
greater  favour,  out  of  love,  it  is  said,  for 
Esther,  a  beautiful  Jewess.  Synagogues, 
academies,  and  Babbinical  schools,  have 
always  abounded  in  Poland;  and  the  civil  and 
criminal  Judicature  over  theu*  own  people  was 
granted  to  the  Jewish  synagogue.  Banish- 
ment and  persecution  rarely  occurred,  except 
by  an  invasion  of  Tartars  and  Muscovites. 
To  the  Jews  in  Poland  belonged  the  peculiar 
privilege,  that  any  one  of  their  nation  who 
embraced  Christianity  and  distinguished  him- 
self in  the  army,  became  by  right,  a  noble. 


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THE   JEWS   IN   ITALT.  197 

To  this  day,  many  of  the  Polish  nobility 
acknowledge  their  descent  from  Jewish  fami* 
lies.  Privileges  elsewhere  conferred  upon  the 
nobility  alone,  were  in  this  country  granted 
even  to  unbaptized  Jews. 

One  peculiar  feature  in  the  history  of  the 
Jewish  population  of  Poland  is,  that  some  of 
them  belong  to  the  sect  called  Karaites.  It 
appears  that  still  greater  favour  was  shown  to 
them  than  to  the  Rabbinical  Jews,  because  of 
their  aversion  to  the  Talmud,  their  nearer 
approach  to  Christianity,  and  their  esteem  for 
Jesus  Christ  as  a  teacher.  The  Karaites  seem 
tp  have  come  into  Poland  from  Tartary ;  and 
King  Stephen,  in  the  year  1578,  published  an 
edict  in  their  favour.  Recent  information  on 
the  subject  leads  us  to  think  that  the  Karaites 
have  been  so  highly  praised,  more  from  a  feel- 
ing of  antipathy  to  the  Talmudists,  than  be* 
cause  of  any  great  superiority  of  virtue  or 
civilization  on  their  part. 

We  shall  conclude,  with  Italy,  our  survey 
of  Europe  during  the  middle  ages, — a  country 
well  known  from  ancient  times  as  the  resi- 
dence of  a  great  number  of  Israelites.  At 
this  period,  Rome,  under  the  temporal  govern* 
ment  of  the  Popes,  first  engages  our  attention ; 
and  if,   during  the  period  of  which  we  have 


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198  THE   JEWS   IN    ITALY. 

been  speaking,  the  Jews  at  Some  were  not  in 
a  state  of  eminent  prosperity,  at  least  they 
were  free  from  great  persecutions.  They  lived, 
it  is  true,  isolated  in  their  ghettos,  and  neither 
their  Rabbins  nor  their  Talmud  gained  them 
any  favour  with  the  head  of  the  Romish 
Church  ;  nevertheless,  the  Popes  generally 
appeared  kindly  disposed  towards  them,  both 
in  their  own  temporal  dominions,  and  in  those 
of  Roman  Catholic  Sovereigns.  We  have 
already  said,  that  they  stood  forth  more  than 
once  as  protectors  of  the  Israelites  when 
menaced  and  ill-treated  throughout  Christen- 
dom. The  Popes,  however,  did  not  all  acj 
upon  the  same  principles;  Gregory  I.  (the 
Great),  in  the  seventh  century,  proved  himself 
the  friend  of  Israel,  both  in  his  writings  and 
decrees,  because  of  the  magnificent  promises 
given  to  the  Church  of  Christ  in  charge  for 
the  ancient  people  of  God  ;  whence  Gre- 
gory VII.  (the  famous  Hildebrand),  in  the 
tenth  century,  was  their  enemy. 

In  the  other  great  towns  of  Italy,  the  posi- 
tion of  the  Jews  varied ;  but  in  general  they 
met  with  favour,  especially  at  Leghorn  and 
Venice;  to  a  less  degree  in  Florence.  At 
Genoa,  on  the  contrary,  they  were  looked  upon 
with  enmity.     We  hear  hardly  anything  of 


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THE   JEWS   IN    ITALY.  199 

the  Jews  in  Italy  before  the  tenth  century ;  in 
the  twelfth  they  began  to  gain  influence  and 
importance  by  their  wealth,  owing  mainly  to 
their  commercial  enterprise,  but  also  to  bank- 
ing speculations,  and  sometimes  (as  in  Ger- 
many and  elsewhere)  to  their  hateful  usury. 
Nowhere,  however,  was  there  less  reason  for 
complaint  on  this  score  than  in  Italy,  since 
Lombardy  sent  forth  throughout  Europe 
bankers  who  far  exceeded  the  Jews,  both  in 
their  cunning  and  their  cupidity.  Complaint 
was  more  than  once  made  in  that  age,  that 
where  the  Jews  did  not  manage  the  financial 
operations,  nsury  was  carried  on  to  a  more 
hateful  excess  by  nominal  Christians.  It  was 
even  reported  that  the  magnificent  city  of 
Florence  owed  much  of  her  riches  to  this 
iniquitous  source.  Though  the  oppression 
suffered  by  the  Jews  in  Italy  was  compara- 
tively moderate,  yet  hiere,  as  elsewhere,  their 
unpopular  practices  brought  upon  them  at 
times  bursts  of  popular  fury.  Towards  the 
ead  of  the  fifteenth  century^  Bemadino  Tho- 
mitano,  a  monk,  of  Feltre,  more  out  of  hatred 
for  their  usury  than  their  religious  errors, 
stirred  up  the  populace  against  them.  It  is  to 
the  indefatigable  exertions  of  this  monk  we 
are  indebted  for  the  institution  of  loan  banks 


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200  THE  TEWS    IN   ITALT; 

(monte  di  Pieiu),  a  name  which  still  brings  td 
mind  this  Lombard  origin. 

Persecutions  of  the  Jews  have  taken  place 
from  time  to  time  in  the  kingdom  of  Naples; 
where  they  settled  about  the  year  1200.  The 
Portuguese  Jewish  historian,  Samuel  Usque, 
speaks  of  one  in  particular  about  the  middle 
of  the  eighteenth  century,  the  result  of  which 
was,  the  compidsory  baptism  of  a  great  num- 
ber of  Jews,  and  the  conversion  of  their  syna^ 
gogue  into  a  church  dedicated  to  St.  Catha^ 
rine. 

Jewish  literature,  theology,  and  Hebrew 
learning,  prospered  more  in  Italy  than  in 
France  during  the  middle  ages.  Eleazar  Beii 
Jacob  Kalir  was  distinguished  as  a  poet,  and 
many  interesting  pieces  of  his  composition 
have  been  preserved  in  the  Jewish  Liturgies 
of  Rome  and  elsewhere.  He  is  supposed  to 
be  a  native  of  Cagliari,  in  Sardinia.  In  the 
eleventh  century,  when  the  Jews  and  their 
studies  met  with  little  consideration,  Babbi 
Nathan  Ben  Jechiel  presided  over  the  Hebrew 
Academy  at  Rome,  and  undertook  a  work 
which  has  attained  celebrity  even  among 
learned  Christians  of  a  much  later  date.  His 
Lexicon  of  the  Talmud,  entitled,  ^^  Aruch,''  has 
not  only  been  highly  extolled  by  Bartolocci, 


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THE  JEWS    IN   ITALT,  201 

but  evidently  forms  the  groundwork  of  Box^ 
torf 's  celebrated  Chaldee,  Talmudic,  and  Bab* 
binical  Lexicon. 

In  the  thirteenth  century,  the  era  of  revival 
for  classical  literature  in  Italy,  Jewish  science 
and  poetry  successfully  developed  itseIC 
Emmanuel  Ben  Salomo,  bom  at  Borne  in  the 
beginning  of  this  century,  is  looked  upon  as 
one  of  the  greatest  and  most  elegant  poets  of 
whom  the  Jewish  nation,  during  their  dis* 
persion,  can  boast.  His  **  Mechabberoth,"  or 
collection  of  poems,  offers  some  specimens  of 
amatory  verse,  a  kind  of  poetry  little  in  use 
among  the  Jews;  and  this,  together  with  a 
certain  lightness  of  manner  in  applying  texts 
of  Scripture  to  worldly  subjects,  has,  perhaps, 
injured  his  reputation  among  his  own  country, 
men.  Some  have  termed  him  the  Voltaire  of 
the  Jews,  but  we  think  he  does  not  deserve 
either  the  credit  or  the  discredit  of  such  a 
comparison.  He  has  written,  besides,  many 
serious  and  even  religious  poems,  as  well  as 
commentaries  on  the  Pentateuch,  the  Book  of 
Job,  the  Psalms,  Proverbs,  and  other  books  of 
Scripture. 

To  the  following  century  belongs  the  foun* 
dation,  at  Bologna,  of  a  school,  since  much 
celebrated,  which  owes  its  rise  to  the  family  of 
k3 


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202  THE   JEWS    IN    ITALY. 

the  Hannaarim,  of  Bologna.  The  same  fiEimily 
also  built,  in  that  town,  one  of  the  finest  syna^ 
gogues  in  Italy.  In  other  respects,  the  four* 
teenth  century  does  not  offer  many  instances 
of  literary  reputation  among  the  Italian  Jews. 
In  the  fifteenth  century,  on  the  contrary,  the 
studies  of  medicine  and  theology  flourished 
among  them.  Elias  Leyita,  a  Jewish  philoso* 
pher  and  writer,  who  taught  at  Padua,  stands, 
as  it  were,  on  the  boundary  between  the 
middle  ages  and  a  new  era  in  the  history 
both  of  Israel  and  the  Gentiles.  It  is  not 
known  with  certainty,  whether  he  was  of  Ger- 
man or  Italian  birth,  but  his  works  on  the 
subject  of  the  Masorah  have  gained  for  him 
the  highest  celebrity.  At  the  end  of  the 
fifteenth,  and  beginning  of  the  sixteenth  cen* 
tury,  a  new  element  streamed,  as  it  were,  into 
the  Jewish  population  of  Italy,  from  Spain 
and  Portugal.  In  what  manner  the  relics  of 
Jewish  inhabitants,  banished  from  the  Penin* 
sula,  established  themselves  both  here  and  in 
other  parts  of  Europe,  transplanting  at  the 
same  time  the  flourishing  science  and  learning 
of  their  fathers,  we  shall  relate  in  that  portion 
of  the  history  of  Israel's  dispersion  which  we 
have  reserved  for  the  third  Book  of  this 
Sketch. 


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BOOK  III. 


The  name  of  Sephardim  (Spaniards)  is  still 
borne  by  the  descendants  of  those  Jewish 
fstmilies  who,  after  an  interesting  and  even 
glorious  sojourn  of  fourteen  centuries,  were 
irrevocably  banished  from  Spain  in  1492,  and 
Portugal  in  1497. 

As  the  whole  Jewish  people  during  their 
dispersion  have  preserved  unchanged  their 
national  faith  and  character  in  the  midst  of 
the  nations,  so  the  Jews  who  emigrated  from 
the  Spanish  Peninsula  preserve  their  original 
identity  amid  their  own  brethren  in  all  parts 
of  the  world. 

It  is  not  a  difference  of  fidth  which  dis- 
tinguishes them  from  the  rest  of  the  children 
of  Jacob,  but  a  diversity  of  historical  remem- 
brances. 

We  will  now  take  into  consideration  the 
peculiar  associations  connected  with  their 
ancient  residence  in  the  Peninsula,  which 
have  been  preserved  among  the  Spanish  Jews, 


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204        SPANISH   AND   PORTUGUESE   JEWS. 

and  which  have  caused  the  Sephardim  to  be 
considered,  and  to  consider  themselves,  as  the 
aristocracy  of  the  dispersed  people  of  Israel. 
One  of  these  distinctions  is  their  daily  use  of 
the  language  of  the  country  of  their  formeir 
glorious  exile,  which  has  been  handed  down 
from  generation  to  generation,  in  whatever 
part  of  the  world  they  may  have  subsequently 
settled.  To  some  of  these  Jews  their  own 
Scriptures  are  more  familiar  in  the  older 
Spanish  than  in  the  original  Hebrew,  and 
their  descendants  long  wrote  both  prose  and 
verse  in  Spanish,  or  Portuguese,  while  dwell- 
ing in  Italy,  the  Netherlands,  England, 
Africa,  Constantinople,  or  even  Jerusalem. 

Until  the  commencement  of  this  century, 
the  Sephardim  used  both  these  languages  in 
their  domestic  life  and  daily  intercourse;  in 
the  synagogue  for  all  ceremonial  arrange^ 
ments,  and  for  every  part  of  the  worship  not 
included  in  the  Liturgy ;  in  their  private  cor- 
respondence, their  commercial  accounts,  and 
the  public  announcement  of  marriages  or 
deaths.  Spain  and  Portugal  were  still  to  the 
exiled  Israelites  what  France,  in  later  times, 
^as  to  the  Huguenots,  when  compelled  to 
quit  their  country  in  the  reign  of  Louis  IV. 
To  the  Spanish  Jew,  the  remembrance  of  the 


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SPANISH   AND   PORTUGUESE   JEWS*        205 

epoch  passed  by  his  ancestors  in  that  Penih* 
sula  is,  to  this  hour,  a  terrible  but  imposing 
recollection,  clouded  by  an  impression  of 
sombre  grandeur. 

The  relation  which  subsisted  between  the 
dispersed  Israelites  and  the  kingdom  of  Spais 
is  unlike  any  we  have  yet  recorded  in  the 
annals  of  '*  Israel  and  the  Gentiles."  We 
may  almost  liken  this  remarkable  and  deeply 
interesting  country  to  the  spot  of  ground 
which  Gideon's  fleece  distinguished  from  all 
the  surrounding  soiL  The  social  position  of 
the  Jews,  and  their  national  prosperity  and 
development  in  Spain  and  Portugal,  differs 
entirely  from  every  position  in  which  we  have 
viewed  them  in  other  countries  of  Christiaa 
Europe  during  the  middle  ages.  Not  that  in 
this,  their  adopted  country,  the  Jews  com-» 
pletely  escaped  the  anathema  which  has 
rested  on  their  nation  since  its  rejection  of 
their  Messiah.  History  here,  as  elsewhere, 
records  persecution,  oppression,  and  finally  an 
entire  banishment,  and  mentions  the  usual 
accusations,  which  were  partly  deserved  and 
partly  without  foundation.  But  even  the 
violence  of  this  persecution  and  oppression 
bore  a  more  noble  character,  and  was  of  a  less 
d^rading  stamp  than  elsewhere.  The  Jewish 
history  of  this  country  presents  phenomena 


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206         SPANISH  AND  PORTUGUESB  JEWS. 

which  we  do  not  recognise  as  possible  to  have 
occurred  in  aay  other  part  of  the  world. 

We  will  mention,  first,  the  view  taken  by  a 
modem  writer  deeply  conversant  with  the 
internal  constitution  of  this  kingdom,*  and  of 
the  peculiar  position  and  destiny  of  the  Jews 
in  Spain  during  the  period  which  proved  most 
important  to,  and  decisive  of,  the  fate  of 
Israel. 

'^This  remarkable  people,  who  seem  to 
have  preserved  their  unity  of  character  un- 
broken amid  the  thousand  fragments  into 
which  they  have  been  scattered,  attained, 
perhaps,  to  greater  consideration  in  Spain 
than  in  any  other  part  of  Europe.  Under  the 
Visigothic  Empire  the  Jews  multiplied  ex- 
ceedingly in  the  country,  and  were  permitted 
to  acquire  considerable  power  and  wealth. 
After  the  Saracenic  invasion,  which  the  Jews, 
perhaps  with  reason,  are  accused  of  having 
facilitated,  they  resided  in  the  conquered 
cities,  and  were  permitted  to  mingle  with  the 
Arabs  on  nearly  equal  terms.  Their  common 
Oriental  origin  produced  a  similarity  of  tastes, 
to  a  certain  extent  not  unfavourable  to  such 

•  Prescott's  "  History  of  the  Reigns  of  Ferdinand  and 
Isabella."    Part  L,  chap.  vii. 

Compare  with  Jost's  **  Geschichte  der  IsraelUen/*  vi., 
75,110,184,216,290, 


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gPAKlStt  AND  PORTUOUESE  JEWS,        20*7 

ja  coalition.  At  any  rate,  the  early  Spanish 
Arabs  were  characterized  by  a  spirit  of  tolera- 
tion towards  both  Jews  and  Christians, — ^  the 
people  of  the  book/  as  they  were  called,—* 
which  has  scarcely  been  found  among  later 
Moslems.  The  Jews,  accordingly,  under  these 
fevourable  auspices,  not  only  accumulated 
wealth  with  their  usual  diligence,  but  gra» 
dually  rose  to  the  highest  civil  dignity,  and 
made  great  advances  in  various  departments 
of  letters.  The  schools  of  Cordova,  Toledo, 
Barcelona,  and  Granada,  were  crowded  with 
numerous  disciples,  who  emulated  the  Ara^ 
bians  in  keeping  alive  the  flame  of  learning 
during  the  deep  darkness  of  the  middle  ages. 
Whatever  may  be  thought  of  their  success  in 
speculative  philosophy,  they  cannot  reasonably 
be  denied  to  have  contributed  largely  to  prac» 
tical  and  experimental  science.  They  were 
diligent  travellers  in  all  parts  of  the  known 
world,  compiling  itineraries  which  have  proved 
of  extensive  use  in  later  times,  and  bringing 
home  hoards  of  foreign  specimens  and  Oriental 
drugs  that  furnished  important  contributions 
to  the  domestic  pharmacopoeia.  In  the  prac- 
tice of  medicine,  indeed,  they  became  so  ex- 
pert as,  in  a  manner,  to  monopolize  that  pro- 
fession.     They    made    great    proficiency  in 


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208       JSPAmSH   AND   PORTUGUESE  J£W». 

mathematics,  and  particularly  in  astronomy; 
while,  in  the  cultivation  of  elegant  letters, 
they  revived  the  ancient  glories  of  the  Hebrew 
muse.  This  was  indeed  the  golden  age  of 
modem  Jewish  literature.  I'he  ancient  Cas* 
tilians  of  the  same  period,  very  diflferent  from 
their  Gothic  ancestors,  seem  to  have  conceded 
to  the  Israelites  somewhat  of  the  feelings  of 
respect  which  were  extorted  from  them  by  the 
superior  civilization  of  the  Spanish  Arabs; 
We  find  eminent  Jews  residing  in  the  Courts 
of  the  Christian  princes,  directing  their  studies, 
attending  them  as  physicians,  or  more  fre« 
quently  administering  their  finainces* 

"  The  new  Christians^  or  converts^  as  those 
who  had  renounced  the  faith  of  their  fathers 
were  denominated,  were  occasionally  preferred 
to  high  ecclesiastical  dignity,  which  they  illus^ 
trated  by  their  integrity  and  learning." 

We  will  now  proceed  to  exemplify  the 
truth  of  these  remarks,  by  entering  into  the 
requisite  details  concerning  the  position  and 
labours  of  the  Jews  in  Spain  and  Portugal 
during  the  period  to  which  our  attention  is 
now  directed. 

An  interesting  subject  of  inquiry  naturally 
suggests  itself  as  to  the  immediate  cause  of  so 
great  a  difference  between  the  position  of  the 


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ISRAEL   AND   THE   WEST.  209 

Jews  in  this  country,  and  in  all  other  parts  of 
Europe. 

From  &cts  considered  individually  as  well 
as  in  connexion  with  one  another,  a  correct 
answer  to  this  inquiiy  may  easily  he  found. 
We  will  first  notice  two  points,  well  calculated 
to  throw  light  on  the  suhject,  which  are,  the 
situation  and  natural  formation  of  the  country 
itself,  and  the  very  ancient  period  at  which  it 
was  first  colonized  hy  the  Jews. 

Between  Spain  and  Palestine  there  are 
many  striking  points  of  resemhlance.*  It  has 
been  said  with  truth,  that  the  Israelites  in  the 
land  of  their  fathers  were  placed  on  the  con* 
fines  of  the  east  and  west.  Palestine,  by  its 
geographical  position,  and  the  customs  of  its 
people,  really  belongs  to  the  East ;  yet  Israel 
turned,  as  it  were,  the  face  towards  the  West; 
and  bore  many  traits  of  European  character. 
The  same  observations  may  be  reversed  with 
respect  to  Spain.  By  geographical  position  it 
belongs  to  Europe ;  but  the  derivation  of  the 
greater  part  of  its  population  is  Asiatic.  The 
language  also  has  preserved  for  centuries  a  cer- 
tain mixture  of  the  swelling  style  of  Oriental 
imagery.  This  we  find  in  the  poetry  of  Lucan 
and  Seneca,  as  well  as  in  that  of  Lopedi  Vega 
^  See  Briim.     Description  de  la  Terre  Sainte. 


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210  SPAIN   AND  THE  EAST. 

and  Ezcilla ;  and  even  in  quite  modem  times 
this  flowery  mode  of  expression  may  be  traced 
even  in  the  records  made  during  the  wars 
against  Napoleon,  and  the  struggle  between 
the  Carlists  and  Christinos.  From  very 
ancient  times,  many  Oriental  elements  have 
mingled  with  the  Celtiberian  nucleus  of  the 
Spanish  population.  The  PhGenician  colonies 
were  numerous  long  before  Rome  or  Carthage 
sought  the  dominion  of  its  shores.  The 
Gh>ths,  penetrating  by  the  Pyrenees,  brought 
to  this  country  a  mixture  of  northern  blood ; 
but  they  were  rather  encamped  than  estab- 
lished here.  Their  kings  did  not  style  them- 
selves kings  of  Spain,  but  of  the  Goths  in 
Spain.  A  little  later,  another  Eastern  people 
mixed  itsdf  with  the  population  already  de- 
rived from  the  same  source ;  for  the  Saracens, 
invading  Europe,  penetrated  beyond  the  Py- 
renees, and  finally  established  themselves  tri- 
umphantly in  the  Peninsula,  which  was  only 
reconquered  by  degrees  by  the  Christian 
natives. 

One  more  Eastern  nation  occupied  a  place 
amidst  the  different  races  of  Celts,  Phoenicians, 
Saracens,  and  Moors.  The  arrival  of  the 
Jews,  and  the  establishment  of  their  colonies 
in  the  Peninsula,  is  carried  back,  both  by 


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ANTIQUITY   OP  THE  JEWS   IN   SPAIN.      211 

Jews  and  Christiaiis,  to  a  period  of  great 
antiquity.  Without  enlarging  on  the  hypo* 
thesis,  that  King  Solomon  possessed  both 
colonies  and  jurisdiction  in  Spain  (supposed  to 
he  the  Tarshish  of  Scripture),  tradition  on 
every  side  agrees  in  fixing  the  establishment 
of  Jews  in  this  country  at  a  date  soon  after 
the  destruction  of  the  first  temple.  This  tra- 
dition, detailed  and  adorned  by  Spanish  his- 
torians and  Jewish  Rabbins,  informs  us,  that 
in  the  time  of  Nebuchadnezzar,  in  consequence 
of  an  imaginary  expedition  made  by  this  prince 
into  Spain,  many  £Etmilies  of  the  tribe  of  Judah, 
and  of  the  house  of  David,  established  them- 
selves in  the  country,  and  built  cities,  the 
names  of  which  still  recal  localities  and  remi* 
niscences  of  Palestine.* 

Church  legends  of  the  Soman  Catholics  in 
Spain  and  Portugal  declare,  that  the  Apostle 
St  James  (St.  Jago  di  Compostella,  accor^ng 
to  their  tradition)  preached  the  Gospel  with 

*  We  may  add  to  those  named  in  Book  L,  p.  40, 
the  following  names  of  persons  and  places,  in  whidx  the 
relation  between  the  Hebrew  and  the  Spanish  is  most 
apparent: — Yepes,  (Joppa).  Tavora,  (Tabor).  Ayila, 
(Abila).  Gaona,  (Gaon).  Correa,  (Core).  Zacuto, 
(Zachut).  Also  Heneses,  Calatajud,  Geremias,  Salema, 
Corid,  Bazan,  and  many  others. 


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212  ANTIQUITY   OF  THE 

many  signs  and  miracles  in  this  country,  and 
converted  great  numbers  of  the  descendants  of 
these  Israelitish  colonists,  who  formed  the 
body  of  the  first  Christian  Church  established 
in  the  Peninsula,  of  which  the  Archbishop  of 
Braga  was  Primate. 

The  same  traditions  inform  us,  that  the 
Jews  themselves  presented  to  King  Alphonso 
VL,  of  Leon  (and  I.  of  Castile),  when  he  con- 
quered Toledo  in  the  year  1806,  the  copy  of  a 
letter*  written  by  their  ancestors  in  that  town 
to  the  High  Priests  and  Scribes  at  Jerusalem, 
dissuading  them  from  the  murder  of  the 
Prophet  of  Nazareth,  This  letter,  of  which  both 
the  language  and  contents  sufficiently  prove 
the  want  of  authenticity,  has  since  been  de- 
posited in  the  archives  of  Toledo.  Copies  of 
it  have  often  been  published,  both  in  Latin 
and  Spanish.  Some  have  imagined  that  the 
Epistle  to  the  Hebrews  was  written  especially 
to  the  Jews  of  Zamora. 

In  the  more  enlightened  views  now  taken 
of  history,  such  tales  would  doubtless  be 
banished  to  the  regions  of  fiible.  And  yet, 
circumstances  which  have  been  preserved  in 

*  This  letter  may  be  read  in  Spanish  and  Latin  in 
Wolf's  "Bibliotheca  iRabbinica,"  and  in  Spanish  in 
Southej's  notes  to  his  <*  Boderick,  the  Last  of  the  Goths.** 


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JEWS   IN    SPAIK.  213 

the  legendary  lore  of  nations,  though  clothed 
with  fable  and  exaggeration,  are  not,  on  that 
account  alone,  to  be  rejected  as  imaginary  or 
untrue*  We  may  prove  that  the  form  in 
which  they  appear  is  that  of  fiction  and  rof 
mance,  without  asserting  as  a  consequence, 
that  the  facts  themselves  are  equally  unworthy 
of  credit.  The  groundwork  in  the  present 
instance  is,  the  simple  &tct  that  the  Jews  were 
settled  in  Spain  long  before  the  destruction  of 
the  second  temple;  and  this  many  circum* 
stances  prove.  .  We  may  mention,  among 
others,  the  coincidence  in  name  of  several 
places  in  Spain  with  those  of  Palestine,  a 
coincidence  which  no  hypothesis  of  a  Fhoe* 
nician  or  Arabic  derivation  could  account  for* 
Another  circumstance  which  helps  to  fix  the 
date  of  their  settlement  at  a  period  previous  to 
the  Christian  era  is,  that  the  names  of  Philip, 
Alexander,  Mark,  &c.,  though  in  general  use 
among  the  Jews  of  all  parts  of  the  world,  were 
never  borne  as  their  Jewish  appellations  by 
those  of  Spain  and  Portugal.  These  names 
were  first  introduced  into  Palestine  when  that 
country  was  under  the  dominion  of  the  Greeks 
and  Komans.  If,  then,  they  are  not  to  be  met 
with  among  the  Sephardim,  may  we  not  na- 
turally conclude  that  their  ancestors  were  at 


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214  ANTIQUITY  OF   THE 

that  time  already  established  in  Spain  I  We 
may  consider  the  existence  of  synagogues  in 
Spain  more  than  probable,  when  calling  to 
mind  the  passage  in  the  Epistle  to  the  Bo« 
mans,  in  which  St  Paul  announces  his  inten- 
tion of  Tisiting  Spain  also  (Bom.  xv.  24 — 28.) 
We  know  it  was  generally  the  practice  of  the 
Apostle  to  the  Gentiles,  to  make  use  of  the 
synagogue  as  his  means  of  communication, 
and  thus  to  act  upon  the  principle  he  so  often 
inculcates,  of  preaching  the  Gospel  to  the  Jew 
Jirst^  and  also  to  the  Gentile.  We  may  add 
another  circumstance,  mentioned  by  Jose- 
phus,*  as  bearing  upon  this  point.  He  says 
that  Herod  Antipas  was  banished,  by  order  of 
the  Emperor,  to  Spain.  The  Emperor  Adrian 
also,  afttt  quelling  the  revolt  of  Bar  Cochab, 
permitted  the  Jews  who  had  escaped,  or  were 
made  prisoners,  to  establish  themselves  in 
Spain. 

The  result  of  these  various  traditions  seems 
to  prove,  that  the  Jews  were  already  estab- 
lished in  the  Peninsula  before  the  time  of  the 
Roman  Emperors ;  whether  they  arrived  there 
by  way  of  Alexandria  and  Cyrene,  or  at  once 
from  Palestine,  and  the  more  distant  parts  of 
Asia.  It  is  interesting  to  notice  the  claim 
*  Joseph,  de  BelL  Jud.,  ii.  9^  sec.  6. 


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JEWS   IN   SPAIK«  215 

made  by  this  portion  of  the  dispersed  of  Judah 
to  belong  to  the  house  of  Dayid.  It  is 
endent  that  this  claim  cannot  be  supported  by 
any  historical  document;  for  the  Israelites, 
formerly  the  pec^le  of  genealogies  par  exeeh 
lence^  have  not,  since  their  dispersion,  con- 
tinued their  genealogical  tables.  The  pre* 
tensions,  therefore,  of  these  different  families, 
whether  in  Babylon  or  in  Spain,  can  only  be 
looked  upon  as  traditionary.  But  we  are 
wrong  in  supposing  such  a  pretension  inoom* 
patible  with  the  Gospel, — as  if  the  accom- 
plishment of  prophecy  concerning  the  Son  of 
David  necessarily  involved  an  extinction  of  all 
other  members  of  that  ancient  and  regal 
family.  On  the  contrary,  as  the  Jewish  nation 
has  not  ceased  to  eidst,  since  from  them  the 
Saviour  of  the  world  came  forth  in  the  flesh, 
so  is  it  more  than  probable  that  since  the 
birth  of  the  blessed  *^Root  of  Jesse,"  this 
house,  like  the  whole  nation,  has  been  &r 
rather  preserved  for  a  future  period  of  con- 
version and  glory  in  the  fulness  df  time. 
The  prophecies  of  the  Old  Testament  mani- 
festly allude  to  this.  In  the  great  day  of 
Israel's  humiliation,  before  their  King  crucified 
and  glorified,  the  house  of  David  is  mentioned 
among   the  families  that  will  on  that  day 


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218  LATSB    COUNCILS  AND   LAWS 

Until  that  time,  the  Visigoths  in  Spain  had, 
like  the  Ostrogoths  in  Italy,  shown  &voar 
to  the  Jews.  From  henceforth  the  Romish 
clergy  and  the  Gothic  kings  seemed  to  vie 
with  each  other  in  multiplying  edicts  and 
laws  against  the  Jews,  laws  which  have  been 
rightly  designated  as  barbaroud  and  absurd. 
Like  the  edicts  of  Justinian  in  the  East,  they 
excluded  "the  abominable  sect"  from  all 
power  or  jurisdiction  over  Christians;  pro- 
hibited their  marriage  with  Christians,  and 
the  celebration  of  their  weddings,  sabbaths, 
and  feasts,  especially  the  Passover.  Baptism 
was  forcibly  administered,  and  compulsion 
was  used  to  make  them  eat  pork.  A  fitting 
prelude  this  to  the  system  of  the  Inquisition, 
established  eight  centuries  later  in  the  same 
country!  Yet,  under  the  Roman  Catholic 
kings  of  the  Visigoths,  as  in  later  times  under 
Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  dislike  was  manifested 
to  the  religion,  but  not,  as  elsewhere,  to  the 
person  of  the  Jew.  An  Israelite  sincerely 
converted  to  Christianity  was,  according  to  the 
same  laws  of  the  Visigoths,  recognised  as  a 
noble,  and  endowed  with  many  privileges.* 

*  Judaei,  qui  sincero  animo  Christiana  sacra  amplec- 
terentur  nobilitate  atqne  vectigalium  immunitate  donati. 
«-<<  Manana  de  Bebus  Hispanias."  vi.  18.    The  effect  of 


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CONCERNING   THE   JEWS    IN   SPAIN.        219 

The  severity  of  the  laws  against  Jews  who 
were  either  unbaptized  or  baptized  by  force 
was  so  great  as  entirely  to  prevent  their  being 
put  in  force.  Hence  the  continual  repetition 
of  laws  and  enactments,  the  total  inefficacy  of 
which  soon  became  apparent.  Those  of  the 
seventh  century  offer  an  unparalleled  specimen 
of  cruelty  and  instability.  In  the  reign  of 
Sisebert  (612 — 617)  the  Jews  are  commanded, 
on  pain  of  banishment,  to  embrace  Christianity. 
Under  Sisenard,  the  fourth  Council  of  Toledo 
in  the  year  631  mitigated  these  measures  of 
compulsion,  without  rescinding  any  of  the 
penalties  which  had  been  previously  enacted. 
Chintilla,  in  636,  exiled  the  Jews,  as  Sisebert 
had  done;  but  they  still  remained  in  great 
numbers  under  Wamba  (672).  In  680, 
Erwig  persecuted  them ;  Egiza  banished  them 
upon  the  accusation  of  having  entered  into 
league  with  the  Saracens  of  Africa.  Witiza 
(in  700)  recalled  them,  and  loaded  them  with 
favours.    A  violent  civil  war,  in  which  Witiza 

thifl  law  is  noticed^  in  Jke  ye&r  1404,  by  the  same  histo- 
rian (Bk.  xix.  12).  Compare  with  Fra.  Juan  Benite 
Guardiola,  in  his  ^'  Tratado  de  la  Nobleza  de  Espana :" — 
"  Los  convertidos  a  nuestra  santa  f^  Catolica,  que  eran 
antes  nobles  segun  su  ley  o  setta,  ritienen  la  nobleza  de 
su  linage,  y  no  solo  la  ritienen  mas  aiin  la  acrecientan. 
L  2 


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220  THE   JEWS    IN   SPAIN 

lost  both  his  crown  and  his  life,  raised  Rodrigo 
to  the  throne.  With  him,  in  the  year  711, 
after  the  famous  battle  of  Xeres  de  la  Frontera, 
terminated  the  whole  Gothic  dominion,  thus 
making  way  for  the  complete  triumph  of  the 
Saracens  over  the  Peninsula. 

The  Jews  were  suspected  of  having  favoured 
and  assisted  the  Arabs  in  their  conquest  of 
Spain.  After  all  they  had  suffered  in  the  pre- 
ceding century  from  the  kings  of  the  Visi- 
goths and  the  Roman  Catholic  clergy,  neither 
the  suspicion  nor  the  reality  of  such  a  co- 
operation between  Israel  and  Ishmael  could 
excite  any  feeling  of  astonishment.  It  is,  on 
the  contrary,  more  than  probable,  judging 
from  what  took  place  in  the  reign  of  Egiza, 
the  invasion  and  establishment  of  the  Saracens 
was,  in  many  respects,  a  desirable  event  to  the 
Jews  of  Spain,  and  the  general  influence  of 
their  dominion  important  in  its  results,  not 
only  to  Spain  itself^  but  also  as  it  affected  the 
whole  of  Christian  Europe. 

The  Ommiada  Califs,  in  the  south  of  Spain, 
soon  rivalled  in  splendour  their  adversaries, 
the  Abassides,  who  had  succeeded  them  in 
Asia.  The  history  of  those  times  abounds  in 
descriptions  of  the  magnificence  and  prosperity 
attained  by  the  Arabian  powers  in  the  Peninsula, 


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UNDER   THE   ARABS.  221 

especially  in  the  reign  of  Abderahman  III, 
(912—961.)  In  the  neighbourhood  of  the 
Guadalquiver  alone,  no  less  than  twelve  thou- 
sand towns,  villages,  hamlets,  and  castles 
might,  it  is  said,  be  counted.  Cordova,  the 
Arabian  metropolis,  is  reported  to  have  con- 
tained two  hundred  thousand  houses,  six  hun- 
dred mosques,  fifty  hospitals,  eighty  public 
academies,  and  nine  hundred  baths.  Manu- 
&ctures  and  every  kind  of  industrial  trade 
flourished;  while  art  and  science  were  culti- 
vated and  protected  by  its  liberal  and  noble- 
minded  princes.  The  Jews  shared  largely  in 
the  splendour  and  prosperity  of  the  Arabs. 
They  soon  wrote  and  spoke  in  Arabic  as  well 
as  Hebrew,  and  are  to  this  day  looked  upon 
by  the  Christians  of  Spain  and  Portugal  as 
their  first  masters  in  every  department  of 
science.  To  them  in  particular  may  be  ap- 
plied the  saying,  "That  there  were  no  dark 
ages  for  Israel.", 

In  a  political  point  of  view,  the  dominion  of 
the  Arabs  in  Spain  was  neither  oppressive  nor 
injurious.  The  disciples  of  the  Koran  looked 
with  equal  contempt  upon  the  religion  of  the 
Christian  and  the  Jew;  but  to  persecute  for 
religion's  sake  was  not  in  accordance  with  the 
principles  of  Islamism  when  its  dominion  was 


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222  THE   JEWS    IN    SPAIN 

once  firmly  established  in  the  country.  The 
Jews  rarely  suffered  oppression  from  their 
Arabic  conquerors,  yet  we  may  mention  a  few 
circumstances  in  which  a  contrary  spirit  was 
manifested.  For  example,  when,  in  the  year 
1064,  Joseph,  the  son  of  Samuel  Hallevi,  was 
suspected  of  endeavouring  to  propagate  the 
religion  of  Moses  among  the  Moslim,  and  was 
in  consequence  put  to  death  at  Granada,  with 
some  hundreds  of  his  coreligionists.  And 
again,  in  1160,  when  the  new  dynasty  of  the 
^mohades  from  Africa  sought  afresh  to  im- 
pose Islamism  by  force  upon  the  Christian 
and  Jewish  portions  of  the  population.  These 
and  a  few  similar  instances  of  persecution 
were,  however,  but  temporary,  and  confined  to 
peculiar  localities.  On  the  other  hand,  from 
the  commencement  of  the  Saracen  rule  in 
Spain,  the  Jews  often  gained  access  to  the 
Mahometan  princes,  and  obtained  their  favour. 
Thus  the  King,  Abderahman,  of  whom  we 
have  spoken,  had  entertained  honourably  at 
his  court  Eabbi  Chasdai  Ben  Isaac,  the  son  of 
Kabbi  Isaac  Ben  Chasdai,  one  of  the  most 
ancient  Hebrew  poets  of  Spain.  Al  Hakem 
(975)  protected  the  Jews  and  their  learned 
men,  placed  their  principal  works  in  his 
library,  and  had  the  Talmud  (or  more  likely 


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UNDER   THE   ARABS.  223 

a  part  of  it)  translated  into  Arabic.  The 
same  favour  towards  science  and  literature  in 
general  was  displayed  by  the  renowned  warrior 
and  statesman,  Al  Manzor  Mohammed  Ben 
Abi  Amer,  at  Cordova,  about  the  end  of  the 
tenth  and  beginning  of  the  eleventh  century. 
The  Jews  in  the  Arabic  provinces  were  rarely 
bankers,  but  merchants,  trading  on  a  large 
scale  to  different  parts  of  the  East.  They 
acted  as  treasurers  to  the  Califs,  but  more 
frequently  as  physicians,  philosophers,  poets, 
theologians ;  in  a  word,  as  savans  and  men  of 
letters. 

The  history  of  the  Jews  in  the  Christian 
states  of  the  Peninsula  presents  us  with  a 
view  of  less  peaceful  times,  but  with  details  of 
still  greater  interest  The  Jewish  inhabitants 
of  the  southern  part  of  Spain  emigrated  in 
great  numbers  to  Castile  in  the  eleventh  and 
twelfth  centuries.  They  must,  therefore,  have 
expected  to  meet  with  a  favourable  reception 
in  that  province.  Henceforward  their  syna- 
gogues and  schools  increased  in  number  and 
importance,  and  their  services  became  indis- 
pensable to  agriculture  and  manufactures. 
Commerce  was  so  entirely  in  their  hands,  that 
even  under  Charles  V.,  their  descendants,  well 
known,  though  concealed  under  the  appella* 


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224:  THE  JEWS   IN   SPAIN 

tion  of  new  Christians,  still  conducted  with 
honour  all  the  traffic  carried  on  in  the  king- 
dom of  Spain.  They  filled  places  of  trust  and 
importance  at  Court  It  is  true,  that  here 
also  they  belonged  immediately  and  exclu- 
sively to  the  King,  much  in  the  same  way  as 
the  Jews  of  Germany  did  to  the  Emperor; 
but  how  diflferently  was  this  power  exerted! 
A  capitation  tax  was  paid  by  the  numerous 
synagogues,  and  presents  were  made  to  the 
Infant,  the  nobility,  or  the  Church ;  while  in 
every  other  respect  the  Jews  lived  like  a 
separate  nation,  framing  and  executing  their 
own  civil  and  criminal  jurisdiction. 

As  formerly  in  the  East  by  the  Besh 
Glutha,  so  were  they  now  governed  by  the 
Eabbino  mayor,  an  Israelite,  usually  in  favour 
at  Court,  and  appointed  by  the  King.  This 
Jewish  magistrate  exercised  his  right  in  the 
King*s  name,  and  sealed  his  decrees,  which 
the  King  alone  could  annul  with  the  Royal 
arms.  He  made  journeys  through  the  country 
to  take  cognisance  of  all  Jewish  affairs,  and 
inquire  into  the  disposal  of  the  revenues  of 
the  different  synagogues.  He  had  under 
him  a  Vice  Eabbino  mayor,  a  chancellor,  a 
secretary,  and  several  other  officers.  Two 
different  orders  of  Rabbins,  or  judges,  acted 


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WITH  THE   CHEISTIAN8.  225 

under  him  in  the  towns  and  districts  of  the 
kingdom.  This  order  held  good  also  in 
Portugal,  which,  as  well  as  Castile,  had  its 
own  prince  of  the  captivity.  The  title  of 
Don,  confined  during  the  middle  ages  to  the 
nobility  of  rank  in  Spain,  was  also  applied  to 
distinguished  Jews,  not  only  by  their  own 
nation,  but  in  public  acts  and  Government 
documents,  as  we  find  by  the  ancient  chro- 
nicles. Every  kind  of  oflfice  was  open  to 
them,  and  they  often  served  in  the  army.  Of 
this,  a  memorable  instance  is  preserved  in  the 
Arabic  documents  from  which  Don  Jose  An* 
tonio  Conde  composed  his  "  History  of  the 
Saracen  dominion  in  Spain. "  ♦  King  Alphonso 
VI.  (a.d.  1086)  is  said  to  have  written  a 
letter  to  King  Yuzef,  chief  of  the  Almora* 
rides,  in  which  he  fixed  on  the  following 
Monday  as  the  day  for  the  battle  of  Talaca, 
because  Friday  would  not  suit  the  Maho- 
metans, Sunday  the  Christians,  or  Saturday 
the  Jews,  of  whom  there  were  many  in  his 
army.  Jewish  records  mention,  besides,  a 
member  of  the  celebrated  family  of  the  Ya- 
diias,  in  command  of  the  Portuguese  army  in 
the  twelfth  century.    It  is  more  than  probable 

*  See  "Historia  de  la  Dominacion  de  los  Ai*abes  en 
Espana."    Madrid,  1820.    Lib.  ii.  pp.  136,  137. 
L   3 


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226  THE   JEWS   IN   SPAIN 

also,  that  the  Treasurer  of  Queen  Isabella, 
whom  the  Cardinal  Mendoza,  himself  a  great 
warrior  and  statesman,  presented  to  her 
Majesty  as  the  Judas  Maccabeus  of  his 
kingdom,  on  account  of  the  extraordinary 
valour  displayed  by  him  at  the  siege  of 
Malaga,  was  an  Israelite  at  least  by  birth.* 

To  counterbalance  all  these  distinctions  and 
privileges,  persecution  and  oppression  of  the 
Jews,  *  as  we  have  before  observed,  arose  in 
moife  than  one  quarter.  While  the  King,  the 
great  vassals  of  the  Crown,  and  dignitaries  of 
the  Church,  either  from  self-interest  or  mofk 
praiseworthy  motives,  protected  and  upheld 
the  Jews,  that  class  of  free  burghers  which 
was  represented  in  the  Cortes,  the  inferior 
clergy,  and  especially  the  common  people 
when  stirred  up  by  the  religious  orders,  were 
their  inveterate  enemies.  It  is  well  known 
that  the  establishment  of  the  Inquisition,  and, 
soon  after,  the  entire  expulsion  of  the  Jews, 
was  effected  by  the  hatred  of  the  Dominicans. 
Complaint  was  sometimes  made  before  the 
Cortes,  and  not  without  reason,  of  usury  prac- 
tised by  the  lower  order  of  Jews,  and  of  abuse 
of  power  by  those  of  higher  rank.  More 
often,  however,   their  wealth  and  influence, 

*  Zurita,  Anales  de  Aragon.    Lib.  xz.,  c.  70.     1487. 


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WITH   THE   CHRISTIANS.  227 

the  fruits  of  their  skill  and  experience  in 
matters  of  state  and  finance,  excited  the  envy 
of  the  populace.  This  feeling  of  envy  mani- 
fested itself  first  by  the  usual  accusations  of 
sacrilege  and  the  murder  of  Christian  chil- 
dren, but  soon  broke  out  into  open  rage  and 
acts  of  violence.  Amid  the  general  prosperity 
of  the  Jewish  nation  during  these  centuries, 
the  annals  of  different  Christian  kingdoms  in 
the  Peninsula  are,  nevertheless,  stained  by  the 
relation  of  horrible  cruelties  practised  at  first 
on  the  unbaptized  Jews,  and  afterwards  on  the 
new  Christians.  In  1212,  a  general  massacre 
of  the  Jews  took  place  at  Toledo,  while  a  mul- 
titude of  foreign  knights  and  soldiers  were 
assembled  in  that  town  preparatory  to  a  cam- 
paign against  the  Moors,  which  they  thus 
intended  to  enter  on,  as  they  had  previously 
done  in  Germany,  before  commencing  their 
crusades  in  the  East.  Twelve  thousand  Jews 
were  threatened  with  murder  and  pillage  by 
these  foreign  legions,  as  the  secret  allies  of 
the  Saracens,  or,  at  all  events,  enemies  to 
Christianity.  Through  the  intervention  of 
Alphonso  IX.,  sumamed  the  Good  and  the 
Noble,*  the  design  fell  to  the  ground,  after 

*  There  is  sometimes  a  little  variation  between  dif- 
ferent authors  in  the  nnmbers  of  the  kings  of  this  name* 


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228  THE   JEWS    IN   SPAIN 

some  sanguinary  skirmishes  had  taken  place 
between  the  inhabitants  of  the  town  and  the 
foreigners. 

The  Councils  of  the  Church  strove  by  sue* 
cessive  decrees  to  lessen  the  influence  of  the 
Jews  in  the  Peninsula.  In  the  year  1313,  the 
Council  of  Zamora,  in  Leon,  vehemently  de- 
manded the  revival  and  enforcement  of  the 
ancient  ecclesiastical  laws  against  the  Jews, 
which  consisted  in  revoking  their  privileges; 
excluding  them  from  all  public  employment; 
prohibiting  all  familiar  intercourse  between 
Jews  and  Christians ;  rejecting  all  Jewish 
testimony  against  a  Christian  in  a  court  of 
justice ;  prohibiting  the  Jews  from  having 
Christian  servants;  forbidding  their  appear- 
ance in  public  during  the  holy  week ;  obliging 
them  to  wear  a  distinctive  mark  upon  their 
garments ;  and  excluding  them  from  the  prac- 
tice   of   medicine*      Moreover,    tithes    were 

Here  we  speak  of  Alphonso  IX.,  King  of  Castile,  father 
of  Henry  I.,  who  was  succeeded  by  his  cousin,  Ferdi- 
nand nL  The  father  of  Ferdinand  m.  was  also 
Alphonso  IX.,  but  of  Leon.  Alphonso  of  Castile  Is 
sometimes  reckoned  as  the  Eighth  instead  of  the  Ninth ; 
while  Alphonso  the  Wise,  commonly  called  the  Tenth,  is 
sometimes  styled  the  Eleyenth  ;  and  the  father  of  Peter 
the  Cruel,  usually  the  Eleventh,  is  then  called  the 
Twelfth. 


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WITH   THE   CHRISTIANS.  229 

imposed  on  their  landed  property ;  their  mag* 
nificent  synagogues  stripped  of  their  pomp  and 
adornments;  and  they  were  also  prohibited 
from  taking  interest.  AU  these  decrees,  how« 
ever,  proved  fruitless.  They  only  served  to 
show,  even  as  late  as  the  fourteenth  century,  the 
small  degree  of  power  possessed  by  the  clergy, 
and  the  great  influence  exercised  by  the  Jews. 
A  remonstrance,  urged  by  the  Cortes  (in  1213), 
against  the  election  of  Jews  to  public  offices 
was  attended  with  rather  more  success,  but 
for  a  very  brief  period.  A  similar  attempt 
made  by  the  Cortes  of  Madrid,  in  1309, 
fell  entirely  to  the  ground.  Those  of  Burgos 
decreed  (probably  with  no  better  success),  that 
neither  the  nobility,  the  clergy,  nor  the  Jews, 
should  henceforth  be  employed  as  receivers  of 
the  taxes. 

The  kings  of  Castile  and  Arragon,  with 
very  few  exceptions,  eminently  befriended  the 
Jews  during  the  four  centuries  which  elapsed 
between  the  reign  of  Ferdinand  I.  and  the 
Catholic  Sovereigns,  Ferdinand  and  Isabella. 
Ferdinand  I.,  the  first  of  the  race,  was  almost 
the  only  one  who  showed  enmity  to  the  Jewish 
people.  He  took  the  opportunity  of  an  expe- 
dition set  on  foot  by  the  Saracen  king  of 
Seville,  Abul  Cassem  £bn  Abud,  surnamed 


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230  THB   JEWS   IK   SPAIN 

Almotabad.  The  King  of  Castile  began  the 
war  in  the  year  1062,  not  long  before  his 
death,  and  peace  was  soon  re-established  with 
the  Mahomedans.  The  plan  he  had  pursued, 
however,  was,  first  to  pillage  and  murder  the 
Jewish  population,  intending  these  outrages 
either  as  a  propitiatory  commencement  of  a 
war  with  the  Infidels,  to  gain  treasure  where- 
with to  carry  it  on,  or  to  wreak  his  vengeance 
for  ill-will  manifested  to  the  Christians  by  the 
Jew,  Rabbi  Isaac  Ben  Baruch  Ben  Alkalia,  of 
Cordova,  who  occupied  a  distinguished  post  at 
the  Court  of  the  King  of  Seville.  This  perse- 
cution was  marked  by  a  peculiar  incident ;  for 
on  this  occasion  the  clergy  took  the  Jews 
under  their  protection,  and  their  conduct  in  so 
doing  was  applauded  by  a  special  brief  from 
the  Pope  Alexander  II. 

Matters  took  quite  a  different  turn  in  the 
following  reign ;  for  Alphonso  VI.  (who  con- 
quered Toledo  from  the  Saracens)  granted 
many  Taluable  privileges  to  the  Jews ;  among 
others,  that  of  eligibility  to  the  officia  nobilia^ 
in  spite  of  the  remonstrances  of  Pope  Gre- 
gory VII.  The  same  kindly  feelings  towards 
that  people  prevailed  without  intermission  in 
the  kings  who  reigned  over  Castile  and  Leon 
during  the  twelfth  and  thirteenth  centuries. 


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WITH   THE   CHRISTIANS.  231 

Alphonso  IX.,  of  Castile  (a.d.  1158—1214), 
sumamed,  on  account  of  his  valour  and  other 
excellences,  the  Good  and  the  Noble,  showed 
them  still  greater  favour,  because  of  his  love 
for  the  fair  Bachael.  a  damsel  of  that  nation, 
who  was  at  last  slain  by  several  knights,  who 
conspired  together  to  put  her  to  death 
(a.d.  1196).  Ferdinand  II.  (of  Castile,  and 
in.  of  Leon  after  1250)  sumamed,  like  his 
nephew,  Louis  of  France,  the  "  Saint,"  is  cele- 
brated in  the  history  both  of  the  Christian 
Church  and  the  Spanish  kingdoms,  for  the 
recovery  of  Cordova  and  Seville  from  the 
Mahomedans,  in  the  years  1236  and  1248. 

Very  different,  however,  was  his  treatment 
of  the  Jews  from  that  of  the  French  King 
who  bore  the  same  epithet.  After  the  con- 
quest of  Seville,  the  Castilian  prince  granted 
them  many  fiivours,  and  large  possessions  in 
land.*     No  king  had  ever  before  bestowed  on 

*  In  1797,  a  member  of  the  Royal  Academy  of  His- 
tory at  Madrid,  presented  to  that  learned  body  some 
remarks  on  the  ancient  synagogues  of  Seville,  and 
especially  two  waxen  impressions  from  seals— one  round, 
the  other  square,  bearing  the  arms  of  Castile.  One  bore 
round  the  edge  this  inscription  :  **  The  holy  assembly  of 
the  synagogue  of  Seville,  which  may  God  preserve,  its 
stronghold  and  Redeemer."    The  other  bore  simply  the 


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232  THE   JEWS   IN   SPAIN 

the  Jews  in  his  kingdom  such  high  distinction, 
or  availed  himself  so  much  of  their  talents, 
as  Alphonso  X.,  sumamed  *^  the  Wise/'  and 
"the  Astronomer,"  the  son  of  Ferdinand 
(a.d.  1262—1284).  This  prince  has  been 
sometimes  unjustly  reproached  for  devoting 
more  of  bis  time  to  study  than  to  the  affairs  of  his 
kingdom  ;  but  several  victories,  gained  either 
by  himself  or  during  his  reign  over  the  Ma- 
homedans,  and  his  labours  in  time  of  peace 
for  the  prosperity  and  well-being  of  his 
country,  entirely  acquit  him  of  the  charge. 
To  him  the  nation  is  indebted  for  a  collection 
of  laws  in  the  vernacular  tongue,  known  by 
the  name  of  ^^  Las  partidas."  He  took  great 
pains  to  introduce  the  Spanish  language, 
instead  of  Latin,  into  all  the  public  acts. 
The  early  efforts  of  Spanish  national  literature 
owe  much  to  this  prince,  who  took  great 
pains  to  improve  the  language  of  his  country : 
for  this  purpose,  he  caused  some  of  the  writ- 
ings of  ancient  authors  to  be  translated  into 
Spanish;  such  as  Gcero,  Virgil,  Ovid,  and 
the  works  of  Boetius  and  Prudentius.  With 
the  same  view,  and  also  a  desire  of  promoting 
healthful  civilization  among  his  people,   he 

names  of  "Todras  and  Levi,  son  of  Samuel  and  Levi, 
wliose  soul  rests  in  paradise,  son  of  Israel  Levi." 


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WITH   THE   CHBI8TIANS.  233 

formed  a  plan  for  translating  the  Bible  into 
the  language  of  Castile,  and  the  Old  Testa* 
ment.  Learned  Jews,  selected  by  the  King, 
were  appointed  to  perform  the  task.  His 
version,  with  the  addition  of  a  few  corrections 
and  changes,  is  considered  to  be  the  same  as 
that  printed  in  1533  by  the  Jews  in  Italy, 
which  has  since  been  known  and  celebrated  as 
the  Bible  of  Ferrara.  At  all  events,  it  is 
quite  certain  that  the  old  version  was  closely 
followed  by  later  translators. 

The  services  of  learned  Jews  were  equally 
in  request  to  assist  the  seientific  labours  of 
the  King  in  mathematics  and  astronomy. 
Rabbi  Isaac  Ben  Lid,  Precentor  of  the  syna- 
gogue, Rabbi  Samuel,  and  his  brother  Rabbi 
Jehuda  Bar  Moses  Haccohen,  with  Rabbi 
Zag,  all  natives  or  inhabitants  of  Toledo, 
wrote  several  interesting  works,  giving  a  view 
of  the  progress  then  made  in  astrology,  the 
use  of  the  astrolabe,  and  mineralogy.  Some 
of  these  were  translations  from  the  Arabic  of 
Ali  Aben  Ragel,  Avicenna,  Averroes,  and 
others,  and  written  either  in  Spanish  or  Latin. 
These  learned  men,  with  several  other  Jews, 
Arabs,  and  even  Christians,  to  the  number  of 
fifty,  were  chosen  by  the  King  as  his  assistants 
in  the  composition  of  an  astronomical  work, 


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234  THE   JEWS   IN   SPAIN 

known  by  the  name  of  "  TabuUe  AlfonsintB^'^ 
which  he  achieved  at  a  great  expense,  by  his 
own  personal  co-operation,  as  a  monument  of 
the  very  peculiar  interest  he  felt  in  this 
science. 

Under  Sancho  IV.,  sumamed  "  the  Brave" 
(1284—1291),  and  Ferdinand  IV.  (1291— 
1312),  the  successors  of  Alphonso  IV.,  the 
position  of  the  Jews  in  their  dominions  re- 
mained unchanged. 

In  the  archives  of  the  Cathedral  at  Toledo, 
a  document  has  been  found  containing  the 
amount  of  the  contributions  paid  by  the  Jewish 
synagogues  to  the  Treasury,  as  they  were  ar- 
ranged and  portioned  out  in  the  reign  of  the 
former  of  these  princes. 

The  whole  amounted  to  2,100,000  ancient 
maravedis,*  a  sum  equal  to  about  10,000 
marks  of  gold.  This  was  contributed  by 
about  80,000  Israelitish  inhabitants,  dispersed 
in  the  seventy  towns  and  other  localities  of 
Castile. 

It  is  calculated  that  an  equal  number  of 
Israelites  inhabited  the  kingdom  of  Arragon ; 
and  consequently,  the  whole  Jewish  popula- 
tion  of  the  Peninsula  may  be  reckoned  at 

*  The  ancient  Spanish  maravedi  was  equal  to  seven- 
teen modem  maravedis. 


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WITH   THE   CHRISTIANS.  235 

more  than  half  a  million  of  souls.  The  cities 
in  which  they  were  most  numerous  and 
flourishing  were  in  the  south,  under  the 
dominion  of  the  Arabs,  and  both  before  and 
after  their  time,  Seville,  Cordova,  and  Gre- 
nada. In  old  and  new  Castile ;  Toledo, 
Burgos,  Guadalaxam,  Segovia,  Avila,  Leon, 
Palencia,  Zamora,  VaUadolid,  Calatrava,  Jaen. 
In  Arragon  and  Catalonia ;  Saragossa,  Cala- 
tayud,  Huesca,  Tarragona,  Barbastro,  Barce- 
lona, Girona,  Lerida,  Tortosa.  In  Portugal ; 
Lisbon,  Santarem,  Viseu,  Covilhao,  Porto, 
Evora,  Faro.  In  all  these  different  parts  of 
the  country,  marked  as  the  special  residences 
of  the  Israelites,  the  Jews  were  to  be  found 
during  the  middle  ages,  occupying  the  position 
of  the  highest  rank  in  society.  Long  after 
their  exile  from  this  their  adopted  country^ 
their  customs,  ceremonies,  and  manner  of  life 
bore  the  same  stamp,  and  thereby  excited  the 
envy  of  the  multitude,  as  well  as  the  astonish- 
ment of  historians. 

The  prosperity  of  the  Jews  in  Castile  and 
the  influence  of  their  nobles  reached  its 
greatest  height  in  the  reigns  of  Alphonso  XI. 
(1312—1360),  and  his  son,  Peter  the  Cruel 
(1350—1369). 

In  the  counsels  and  friendship  of  Alphonso, 


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236  THE   JEWS    IN    SPAIN 

his  physicians,  Don  Samuel  Ahenhacar,  Don 
Samuel  Benjaes,  and  Rahhi  Moses  Ahudiel, 
held  a  permanent  and  distinguished  place. 
The  historians  and  chroniclers  of  the  Spanish 
kings,  as  well  as  Jewish  authors,  mention  a 
certain  Don  Joseph,  called  Almoxarife,  or 
"  the  Treasurer,*'  who,  with  Osorio,  the  Count 
de  Transtamare,  long  possessed  the  King^s 
unlimited  favour  ;  he  subsequently  partici- 
pated in  the  fall  of  this  favourite,  being  dis- 
missed from  office  in  1329,  at  the  request  of 
the  Cortes.  The  King  was  at  the  same  time 
compelled  to  promise  that  he  would  no  longer 
employ  any  Jew  as  a  Minister  of  the  State, 
It  appears,  he  either  found  some  difficulty  in 
supplying  their  place,  or  met  with  none  who 
could  serve  him  better,  as  Don  Joseph,  some 
years  after,  was  reinstated  in  the  ministry. 

Don  Pedro,  the  successor  of  Alphonso,  sur- 
passed his  father  in  the  characteristic  cruelty 
for  which  they  are  both  noted  in  history,  and 
which  gave  to  the  former  his  surname  among 
the  Kings  of  Leon  and  Castile.  This  King 
also  showed  the  Jews  much  fevour,  though  he 
ill  requited  Don  Samuel  el  Levi  for  the  £aith- 
ful  services  he  had  rendered  as  a  statesman. 
The  ancient  Spanish  chronicle  of  King  Pedro's 
reign  gives  an  account  of  his  services  that 


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WITH   THE   CHRISTIANS.  237 

does  honour  to  the  sagacity  of  the  Israelitish 
Minister  of  Finance ;  relating  in  a  simple 
style  how  he  enriched  the  Royal  treasury  at 
the  expense  of  the  avaricious  and  dishonest 
tax-gatherers,  compelling  them  hy  severe 
measures  to  give  in  their  accounts  and  make 
good  their  receipts.  Without  proof  given  of 
any  mal-administration  or  crime  whatever,  the 
Israelitish  minister  of  Don  Pedro  shared  the 
fate  of  many  other  favourites,  and  even  near 
relations  to  the  King.  He  was  condemned 
to  the  torture,  under  which  he  expired  in 
1360.  It  appears  that  his  disgrace  did  not 
extend  further  than  to  his  numerous  family, 
distinguished  also  for  their  immense  wealth. 
We  find,  too,  other  Israelites  mentioned  at 
the  same  time  as  in  high  esteem  at  Court 
during  this  reign, — Don  Samuel  Ahen  Alha- 
doc,  and  Don  Samuel,  son  of  Don  Meir  Aben 
Maza,  the  head  of  the  synagogue. 

A  Hebrew  inscription  of  the  year  1366, 
when  the  edifice  was  built  and  consecrated  as 
a  synagogue,  is  even  now  in  great  part  legible 
in  the  Church  of  Nuestro  Senore  del  Tansito, 
at  Toledo.  It  celebrates  one  of  these  three 
Samuels,  praising  him  as  a  man  fitted  '^  for 
war  or  for  peace,"  and  mentioning  his  services 
in  behalf  of  the  Jewish  nation.     This  Samuel 


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238  THE   JEWS   IN   SPAIN 

could  not  be  the  famous  Treasurer  of  Don 
Pedro  ;  for  he  was  put  to  death  by  that 
prince  about  seven  years  before  the  date  of 
the  inscription  in  the  synagogue.  It  is  there- 
fore conjectured,  that  this  memorial  is  raised 
to  Don  Samuel,  the  son  of  Don  Meir.  The 
date  of  the  inscription,  expressed  in  the  He« 
brew  manner  by  letters,  marks  the  seventh 
year  of  the  reign  of  Don  Pedro,  to  whom, 
perhaps  at  that  very  period,  the  Jews  had 
given  a  remarkable  proof  of  their  fidelity,  if, 
as  many  think.  Prince  Henry  de  Transtamare, 
who  had  raised  the  standard  of  revolt  against 
the  King,  was  then  endeavouring  lo  gain  pos- 
session of  Toledo.  The  fidelity  of  the  Jewish 
population  was  eminently  displayed  towards 
the  cruel  but  legitimate  King  of  Castile,  by 
the  bravery  with  which  the  Jews  of  Burgos 
defended  both  the  town  and  their  own  quarter 
against  the  rebels.  Very  soon  after,  the  King 
died,  and  in  him  the  direct  line  of  the  Bur- 
gundian  dynasty  of  Leon  and  Castile  came  to 
an  end.  With  his  brother.  Prince  Henry, 
began  an  illegitimate  dynasty  from  the  same 
house,  of  which  Queen  Isabella  was  the  last 
who  succeeded  to  the  throne. 

From  the  unanimous  testimony  of  the  chro- 
nicles of  the  Church  and  of  their  own  writers, 


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WITH  THE   CHRISTIANS.  239 

we  learn  how  large  a  share  of  influence, 
wealth,  and  consideration  was  at  that  time 
possessed  by  the  Jews  in  Spain.  Jewish 
historians  attached  such  high  importance  to 
these  privileges,  that  they  applied  to  this  age 
the  prophecy  of  Jacob,  "  The  sceptre  shall  not 
depart  from  Judah  until  Shiloh  come."  By 
Christians  great  complaint  was  made,  that  the 
very  prosperous,  and,  in  a  worldly  sense, 
glorious  position  of  the  Jews,  was  (I  quote  the 
words  of  the  venerable  Paul,  Bishop  of  Burgos, 
himself  an  Israelite  by  birth)  ''not  only  an 
offence,  but  a  great  peril  for  simple  believers, 
ever  ready  to  imitate  the  errors  of  their 
superiors."  * 

All  this  grandeur  and  these  privileges  were, 
nevertheless,  not  unfrequently  accompanied  by 
violent  acts  on  the  part  of  the  populace,  and 
complaints  and  protestations  from  the  Councils 
and  the  Cortes.  To  satisfy  their  clamours,  it 
was  sometimes  needful  to  promulgate  afresh 
ancient  decrees  which  had  almost  fallen  into 
oblivion, — such  as  the  limitation  of  Jewish 
places  of  abode  to  a  peculiar  quarter,  the  obli- 
gation to  wear  a  distinctive  mark,  and  ex- 
clusion from  posts  of  dignity  and  public  offices. 
*  Panli  Bargensis  Scrutiniam  Scripturarum. 


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240  THE   JEWS    IN    SPAIN 

The  more  unlimited  and  severe  the  enactment, 
however,  the  less  chance  there  was  of  its  heing 
actually  put  in  force.  Sometimes,  at  the  insti- 
gation of  the  political  or  ecclesiastical  body,  a 
reprimand  was  issued  to  the  Jews  by  those 
kings  who  themselves  regarded  them  with  the 
greatest  favour.  Thus  King  Alphonso  X.  re- 
proved them  for  the  exorbitant  luxury  of  their 
habits,  and  Alphonso  XI.  forbade  Christians 
attending  their  festivals. 

The  opposition  and  remonstrances  of  the 
Cortes  and  Councils  against  the  influence  of 
the  Jews,  and  the  abuses  which  it  occasioned, 
made  more  impression  on  the  kings  of  the  dy- 
nasty of  Transtamare.  Henry  de  Transtamare^ 
however,  (the  second  of  that  name,)  although 
the  Jews  opposed  the  revolt  made  in  his  favour 
in  the  reign  of  his  brother,  Pedro,  seems  to 
have  paid  little  attention  to  the  complaints 
made  against  them  by  the  Cortes  of  Burgos. 
When  this  assembly,  one  day,  enjoined  him  to 
dismiss  all  Jews  from  office  about  his  person, 
either  as  physicians  or  ministers,  asserting  that 
their  presence  at  Court  caused  trouble  and  civil 
dissensions,  the  new  King  answered,  that  "  he 
himself  knew  what  was  the  wisest  course  to 
take  in  that  matter."    Whereupon   he  con- 


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WITH   THE   CHBI8TIAN8,  241 

firmed  the  privileges  granted  to  the  Jews  hy 
his  father,  Alphonso  XI.,  and  availed  himself 
equally  of  their  talents  and  services. 

More  perilous  times  menaced  the  Jews  of 
Castile  and  the  rest  of  Spain  under  John  I. 
(1379—1390.)  The  Cortes  assembled  at  Valla- 
dolid,  Soria,  and  Burgos  passed  resolutions 
tending  to  deprive  the  Jews  of  all  participation 
in  the  government  of  the  State,  or  the  manage- 
ment of  its  finances;  but  the  King,  asserting 
Ms  own  immediate  and  exclusive  rights  over  this 
people,  continued  to  grant  them  his  protection. 

In  consequence  of  a  singular  circumstance, 
however,  their  synagogue  was  deprived  of  the 
right  of  jurisdiction  it  had  hitherto  enjoyed. 
The  chronicler  of  King  John  I.  relates  that 
some  Jews,  who  considered  themselves  ag- 
grieved by  one  of  their  own  persuasion  at 
Court,  named  Don  Joseph  Fichon,  contrived  to 
obtain  a  royal  mandate,  granting  them  the 
services  of  an  alguazil  to  execute  a  sentence  of 
death.  As  the  King  of  Castile,  according  to 
existing  customs,  had  often  granted  such 
mandates  for  the  execution  of  sentences  passed 
by  the  Jewish  tribunal,  he  made  no  diffi- 
culty in  signing  the  document  thus  pre- 
sented, quite  ignorant  that  it  was  intended  for 
Pichon,  one  of  the   most  devoted,  ministers 

M 


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242  THE   JEWS   IN    SPAIN 

of  the  King,  his  father.  The  sentence  of  the 
Jewish  magistrates  was  effectually  executed  by 
the  alguazU  of  the  King  at  Seville.  When  the 
King  heard  what  had  taken  place,  he  instituted 
an  inquiry, — put  to  death  all  who  had  been 
either  directly  or  indirectly  concerned  in  this 
matter, — and  deprived  the  Jews  of  the  juris- 
diction they  had  hitherto  possessed. 

Under  Henry  III.  the  Jews,  as  before,  held 
offices  of  State;  and  one  in  particular,  Don 
Meir,  physician  to  the  King,  was  high  in 
honour  and  trust;  yet,  in  the  same  reign, 
especially  during  the  minority  of  the  King, 
several  violent  outbreaks  and  bloody  perse- 
cutions were  raised  against  the  Jewish  inha- 
bitants of  different  cities.  At  Seville  the  arch- 
bishop in  person  stirred  up  the  populace  by  a 
sermon  to  fall  upon  the  Jews,  and  the  tumult 
was  with  difficulty  quelled  by  the  severe 
measures  of  the  civil  and  military  authorities. 
In  the  year  following,  1391,  these  disturbances 
were  repeated,  and  the  Jewish  quarter  attacked 
and  burnt  to  ashes.  This  fearful  example 
spread,  as  by  contagion,  to  the  towns  of 
Cordova,  Madrid,  Toledo,  over  the  whole  of 
Catalonia,  and  even  to  the  Isle  of  Majorca, 
where  John  I.  of  Arragon  caused  its  leaders  to 
be  severely  punished.     The  number  of  Jews 


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WITH   THE   CHBI8TIAN8.  243 

said  to  have  lost  their  life  is  estimated  at 
ten  thousand,  and  the  places  in  which  the 
outbreak  occurred  are  numbered  at  seventy; 
Many  fled  to  Africa  to  escape  persecution, 
among  whom  was  the  Rabbi  Bar  Zemach,  of 
Oran,  celebrated  for  his  learned  writings,  and 
his  elegies  on  the  events  of  that  period.  Others 
in  the  terror  of  the  moment  went  over  to  the 
Bomish  Church. 

The  first  years  of  the  reign  of  John  II.,  who 
succeeded  his  father  while  yet  a  child  (1406), 
were  unfavourable  to  the  Jews.  A  royal  man- 
date, dated  Yalladolid,  1412,  in  a  series  of 
twenty-four  articles,  contained  the  most  oppres- 
sive enactments  which  had  ever  been  promul- 
gated against  them  since  the  time  of  the  later 
Visigothic  kings.  The  Jews,  and  also  the  Moors, 
were  thenceforth  to  confine  themselves  to  a 
separate  quarter  on  pain  of  death, — not  to  con- 
verse with  Christians,  or  to  have  Christians 
in  their  service, — not  to  practise  as  physicians 
or  apothecaries, — ^not  to  be  high  treasurer  to 
the  king,  or  steward  to  any  of  the  nobility, — 
not  even  to  work  at  trades  for  the  Christians. 
They  were  no  longer  to  have  judges  of  their 
own  nation,  nor  to  observe  their  peculiar  laws 
and  customs ;  they  might  not  even  tax  them^ 
selves  for  the  maintenance  of  the  synagogue, 
M  2 


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244  THE  JEWS   IN   SPAIN 

nor  share  as  they  liked  the  taxes  imposed  by 
the  King.  They  were  ordered  to  wear  a 
peculiar  dress,  the  form  even  of  which  was 
prescribed  to  them.  The  title  of  Don  was  for- 
bidden, and  the  power  of  quitting  the  kingdom 
at  will  taken  from  them.  These  laws  were  too 
absurd  to  be  put  in  force,  and  the  Jews  knew 
that  they  possessed  too  much  power  and  influ- 
ence to  be  compelled  to  submit  to  them.  Yet, 
though  under  a  different  name,  they  continued, 
during  the  reign  of  John  II.  (for  nearly  fifty 
years),  and  that  of  his  son,  Henry  IV.  (from 
1454  to  1474),  to  retain  their  former  connexion 
with  the  State.  They  were  baptized  in  crowds 
in  different  parts  of  Spain,  either  in  conse- 
quence of  intolerable  persecution,  or,  in  some 
cases,  of  real  conviction,  of  which  we  shall 
soon  mention  some  bright  examples.  These 
families  formed  an  entirely  new  body,  who 
were  long  distinguished  from  the  old  Christian 
population  by  the  designation  of  "  Conversos," 
or  New  Christians.  The  influence  of  these 
converts  became,  in  the  fifteenth  century,  as 
extensive  and  important  as  that  of  the  uncon- 
verted or  unbaptized  Jews  of  earlier  times. 
They  held  the  chief  offices  of  State,  and  were 
about  the  person  of  the  King,  being  especially 
favoured  by  Don  Alvar  de  Luna,  the  powerful 


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WITH   THE   CHRISTIANS.  245 

minister  of  John  11.  The  preference  shown 
both  to  the  Converses  and  to  the  Jews  in  the 
reign  of  Henry  IV.  was  made  matter  of  com- 
plaint against  that  monarch,  who  naturally 
looked  upon  them  as  his  most  faithful  parti- 
zans,  and  sanguinary  contests  were  often  the 
consequence.  On  one  occasion,  when  the  popu- 
lace made  an  attack  upon  the  Jews  and  Con- 
versos  at  Jaen,  the  high  constable,  Don  Miguel 
Lucas  Iranza,  who  had  taken  their  part,  was 
put  to  death  while  attending  mass.  The  town 
of  Cordova  and  many  others  witnessed  similar 
scenes  of  civil  war,  arising  from  religious  or 
political  jealousies.  The  Jews  and  Converses 
in  this  time  of  anarchy  took  up  arms  in  all 
parts  of  Castile,  hired  troops  to  defend  them- 
selves, or  removed  to  Falma  and  Seville. 
From  thence  a  considerable  party,  with  Pedro 
de  Herrera  at  its  head,  went  to  the  Duke  of 
Medina  Sidonia,  and  opened  a  negotiation 
with  him,  requesting  that  the  town  and 
fortress  of  Gibraltar  might,  on  the  payment  of 
a  considerable  sum,  be  made  over  to  the  Con- 
versos  as  their  own  possession.  This  scheme 
failed,  owing  to  the  interference  of  the  people 
of  Seville,  from  whom,  on  this  account,  the 
Jewish  quarter  had  again  much  to  endure.. 
The  glorious   period  during  which  Isabella, 


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246  THE   JEWS   IN   SPAIN,   ETC. 

the  sister  of  Henry  IV,,  with  her  husband, 
Don  Ferdinand  of  Arragon,  governed  Castile, 
brought  a  complete  change  over  the  whole 
face  of  the  country,  and  became  to  the  Jews, 
and  also  to  the  New  Christians,  the  time  of  a 
most  striking  crisis,  the  relation  of  which  be- 
longs to  a  later  part  of  this  book. 

In  the  kingdom  of  Arragon,  during  the 
period  of  which  we  have  spoken,  the  general 
fate  of  the  Jews  and  its  vicissitudes  were  not, 
as  in  Castile,  minutely  noted  in  the  annals  of 
the  State.  In  the  history  of  Arragon,  also,  the 
decrees  of  Councils,  the  remonstrances  of  the 
Cortes,  the  outbreaks  of  the  populace,  and  the 
measures  taken  by  the  king,  show  clearly  that 
the  position  of  the  Jews  with  respect  to  all 
these  parties  in  the  State  was  not  very  different 
from  what  we  have  observed  in  Castile.  We 
may  notice  especially  the  influence  and  pros- 
perity enjoyed  by  the  Conversbs,  or  baptized 
Jews,  and  their  descendants,  which  was  as 
great  in  Arragon  as  in  any  other  part  of  Spain 
during  the  fifteenth  and  sixteenth  centuries. 

But  it  is  now  time  to  turn  our  attention, 
which  has  been  hitherto  directed  towards  the 
political  relation  of  the  Jews  in  Spain,  to  the 
far  more  interesting  memorials  which  have 
come  down  to  us  of  their  literary  institutions^ 


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JEWISH   THEOLOGY,   ETC.  247 

and  their  progress  in  science,  during  their 
residence  in  that  country,  before  the  close  of 
the  middle  ages. 

The  first  thing  we  have  to  consider  is  the 
theology  of  the  Jews,  their  schools,  and  the 
writings  of  their  Eabbins  and  commentators. 

Even  during  the  rule  of  the  Visigoths  in 
Spi^in,  Hebrew  literature  was  cultivated,  and 
the  study  of  Holy  Scripture  and  of  the  doc- 
trines of  the  Talmud  preserved  in  the  syna- 
gogues. In  those  early  days,  and  in  later 
times  under  the  rule  of  the  Saracens,  the 
sources  from  which  the  Jews  of  the  Peninsula 
derived  their  learning  were  the  famous  schools 
of  Babylon  and  Persia,  with  which  they  main- 
tained an  uninterrupted  correspondence.  The 
Israelitish  parents  of  those  ages  sent  their  sons 
into  the  East  to  be  instructed  in  theology ;  and 
the  synagogues  sent  deputations  to  ask  advice 
upon  questions  of  law  and  tradition,  and  to 
consult  about  customs,  ceremonies,  and  insti- 
tutions. The  most  ancient  liturgies  of  these 
synagogues,  especially  those  for  the  fasts  and 
the  great  day  of  atonement,  were  taken  from 
prayers  and  formularies  composed  by  Rabbi 
Nissim,  head  of  a  Jewish  academy  at  Babylon. 
Among  the  learned  men  of  the  period  which 
preceded  the  establishment  of  an  independent 
system  of  rabbinical  theology  in  Spain,  we 


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248  JEWISH   THEOLOGY   AND 

find  much  praise  iawarded  to  Rabbi  Judah, 
for  translating  several  Arabic  writings  into 
Hebrew,  and  composing  a  treatise  upon  Natu- 
ral Phenomena,  as  well  as  to  Eabbi  Menahem 
Ben  Saruk,*  a  learned  Talmudist,  and  the 
author  of  a  Hebrew  lexicon,  entitled  the 
**  Book  of  the  Root."  The  manuscript  of  this 
work,  together  with  the  criticisms  of  a  cotem- 
porary  named  Rabbi  Donasc,  is  preserved  in 
the  library  of  the  Vatican, 

We  have  mentioned  that  an  entirely  new 
and  independent  school  of  Hebrew  theology 
was  subsequently  established  in  the  Peninsula* 
This  new  foundation,  which  soon  filled  the 
place  of  the  schools  in  the  East,  and  outshone 
the  brightness  of  their  celebrity,  may  date  its 
rise  from  about  the  middle  of  the  tenth 
century. 

We  will  notice,  first,  the  place  held  by  its 
Rabbanim  in  the  long  succession  of  schools,  or 
generations  of  scribes,  students  of  the  law,  and 
commentators,  which  formed  the  boast  of  the 
Jewish  nation  after  the  destruction  of  Jeru- 
salem. At  the  head  of  all  are  placed  the 
Tanaim,  the  sages  and  learned  men  of  Israel, 
who  assisted  Rabbi  Judah  Hakkodesh,  in  the 
third  century,  to  commit  to  writing  the  Oral 

*  Wolf  and  others  have  confused  his  name  with  that 
of  Menahem  Ben  Jacob,  of  the  fourteenth  century. 


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SCHOOLS   IN   SPAIN.  249 

Law.  The  later  Eabbins,  whose  explanations 
and  paraphrases  of  that  Mishna  formed  the 
two  Talmuds,  bear  the  name  of  Emoraim,  or 
commentators. 

The  Babylonian  Talmud  was  completed  (in 
505)  during  the  eighth  generation  of  this 
second  series  of  Rabbins.  To  the  Emoraim 
succeeded  in  their  turn  the  Eabanan  Seburse, 
or  expounders  of  the  Talmud.  To  these,  who 
belonged  chiefly  to  the  Persian  school,  suc- 
ceeded, near  the  end  of  the  seventh  century, 
a  second  division  of  Talmudists,  called 
Geonim  (the  excellent),  and  also  Universal 
Doctors,  or  Jewish  judges.  Among  the  most 
learned  men  of  this  class  was  Rabbi  Saadias 
Gaon,  bom  in  Egypt  in  the  year  892,  who 
gained  great  reputation  in  Asia  by  his  distin- 
guished talents  and  numerous  writings,  both 
in  Hebrew  and  Arabic.  He  also  excited 
attention  by  his  violent  discussions  with  the 
Nasi  David  Ben  Zachai,  on  account  of  a 
sentence  pronounced  by  the  prince  of  the 
captivity,  which  Gaon  considered  unjust* 
His  life  was  threatened  in  consequence  of  this 
dispute,  and  he  spent  many  years  in  retire* 
ment,  entirely  devoted  to  study,  and  employed 
in  the  composition  of  several  works,  which 
have  come  down  to  posterity.     It  is  believed 

M  3 


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250      JEWISH   THEOLOGY   AND   SCHOOLS,   ETC. 

that  this  learned  Asiatic  corresponded  with 
the  synagogue  of  Cordova. 

While  the  Jewish  schools  of  theology  in 
the  East  still  existed,  and  were  in  a  degree 
flourishing,  an  accidental  circumstance  pre- 
pared the  way  for  the  subsequent  removal  of 
the  seat  of  modem  Jewish  science  into  the 
West.  This  event  and  its  consequences,  with 
a  little  legendary  ornament  perhaps,  is  thus 
told : — Four  learned  Israelites  of  Pumbeditha 
were  in  a  ship,  which  was  captured  by  a 
Moorish  pirate  from  Spain,  a.d.  948.  One  of 
them,  named  Eabbi  Moses,  after  having  seen 
his  wife  cast  herself  into  the  sea,  to  escape  the 
ferocity  of  the  captain,  was,  with  his  son, 
carried  prisoner  to  Cordova.  The  Israelitish 
inhabitants  of  that  town  sdon  effected  their 
deliverance  by  means  of  a  ransom.  After 
remaining  some  time  unnoticed,  a  learned  dis- 
cussion in  the  synagogue  became  the  means  of 
raising  Rabbi  Moses  high  in  the  esteem  of  all, 
and  renewing  the  interest  his  fate  had  before 
excited.  He  was  soon  chosen  head  of  that 
synagogue  and  judge  of  the  Jews ;  and,  be- 
coming known,  while  holding  this  office,  to 
Rabbi  Chasdai  Ben  Isaac,  the  great  protector 
of  his  nation,  at  the  court  of  Miramolin,  he 
obtained,  in  marriage  for  his  son,  a  daughter  of 


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THE   SPANISH    RABBANIM.  251 

the  powerful  house  of  Peliag,  thus  laying  a 
prosperous  foundation  both  for  his  own  de* 
scendants  and  for  the  Jewish  schools  of  Spain. 
When  the  Persian  school  of  the  Geonim  came 
to  an  end  in  the  eleventh  century,  in  the 
person  of  Rabbi  Hai  Bar  Eab  Scherira,  the 
schools  of  the  Spanish  Rabbanim  took  its 
place,  as  the  centre  of  Jewish  civilization  and 
learning.  Soon  Toledo  and  Seville,  then 
Saragossa,  Lisbon,  and  a  great  number  of 
other  cities,  shared  in  the  glory  of  Cordova. 
At  Toledo  alone,  the  number  of  students  in 
Hebrew  theology  is  said  to  have  sometimes 
amounted  to  twelve  thousand :  the  number  is 
no  doubt  exaggerated,  but  the  exaggeration 
itself  proves  the  high  idea  that  was  formed  of 
the  extent  to  which  the  study  of  Hebrew 
literature  was  carried  on  in  the  ancient  capital 
of  Castile. 

From  the  commencement  of  the  eleventh 
century  to  the  end  of  the  fifteenth,  nine  ages 
or  generations  of  Rabbanim  are  reckoned  in 
Spain,  each  generation  named  from  a  head  of 
the  synagogue,  or  some  other  distinguished 
student  of  the  age.  Though  Rabbi  Moses  of 
Fumbeditha  passes  for  the  founder  of  the  new 
school  at  Cordova,  the  first  generation  of  Rab« 


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252  THE   NINE   GENERATIONS 

banim  is  not  considered  to  begin  with  him,  or 
his  son,  but  with  Rabbi  Samuel  Hallevi,  sur- 
named  Hanragid,  or  the  Prince.  He  is  looked 
upon,  in  general,  as  the  first  Rabbino  mayor, 
or  prince  of  the  captivity  in  Spain  (a.d.  1027). 
He  held  at  the  same  time  a  high  office  under 
Habuz  Ben  Moksan,  the  Mahomedan  prince 
of  Granada ;  and,  for  the  space  of  thirty  years, 
successfully  employed  his  riches,  talents,  and 
influence  for  the  good  of  his  nation  in  Africa, 
Sicily,  and  Palestine,  as  well  as  the  Peninsula. 
He  caused  many  books  to  be  copied,  at  his 
own  expense,  and  presented  to  those  syna- 
gogues that  could  not  afford  to  purchase  them. 
He  often  addressed  in  person  a  numerous 
auditory,  and  may  take  rank  among  the  poets, 
as  well  as  the  learned  men  of  the  Sephardim, 
in  those  days.  To  the  first  generation  of 
Rabbanim  also  belongs  the  philosopher  and 
jurist,  Rabbi  Samuel  Cophni  Haccohen,  of 
Cordova,  whose  exposition  of  Deuteronomy 
still  exists  in  manuscript.  Another  Rabbi 
Samuel,  of  Barcelona,  a  cotemporary  of  the 
two  others,  distinguished  himself  by  the  efforts 
he  made  to  annul  the  old  rabbinical  decrees 
against  the  study  of  Greek  litei;ature.  Another 
doctor  of  Barcelona,  Rabbi  Judah  Ben  Levi 


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OF   SPANISH   RA66ANIH.  253 

Barsili,  i;vrote,  hot  long  after,  a  treatise  on  a 
subject  but  imperfectly  understood  in  the  East, 
—the  "  Rights  of  Woman." 

The  second  generation  of  Babbanim  begins 
mth  the  succession  of  Babbi  Joseph  Ben 
Samuel  Hallevi  to  his  father's  dignity  of 
Babbino  mayor  in  1056,  The  persecution 
which  we  have  before  mentioned  as  occurring 
in  Granada,  in  the  year  1064,  is  said  to  have 
caused  the  massacre  of  1,500  Israelites,  among 
whom  perished  their  nagid,  or  prince — this  same 
Babbi  Joseph.  It  is  owned  by  the  rabbinical 
authors  that  he  was  worthy  of  such  a  fate,  on 
account  of  his  intolerable  haughtiness.  His 
son,  Abraham,  who  was  offered  the  choice  be- 
tween embracing  the  religion  of  Islam  and 
death,  chose  the  latter.  With  him  were  put 
to  death  also  the  two  sons  of  Kiskiah,  the  last 
~  Besch  Glutha  of  Bagdad. 

The  third  generation  of  Spanish  Babbanim 
is  distinguished  by  the  life  and  works  of  five 
learned  men,  who  all  bore  the  name  of  Isaac. 
At  the  head  of  the  five  Isaacs  is  Babbi  Isaac 
Ben  Yacob  Alphesi,  or  of  Fez  in  Africa,  from 
whence  he  was  raised  to  the  dignity  of  prince 
of  the  captivity  at  Cordova,  where  he  had 
taken  up  his  abode.  He  died  at  Lucena,  in 
1103,  at  the  age  of  ninety.    Among  his  works 


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254  THE   NINE   GENEIUlTIONS 

the  most  worthy  of  note  is  his  Abridgment 
of  the  Talmud,  upon  which  the  celebrated 
Yarchi  wrote  a  Commentary.  The  others 
were  Eabbi  Isaac  Ben  Baruch,  sumamed  '^  the 
Mathematician/*  in  high  esteem  for  his  pro- 
ficiency in  that  branch  of  science  at  the  Court 
of  the  King  of  Granada :  as  a  theologian  he 
Was  a  bitter  enemy  of  Alphesi  and  his  opinions, 
but  was  reconciled  to  him  on  his  death-bed. 
Rabbi  Isaac  Ben  Moses/  Rabbi  Isaac  Ben 
Giath,  a  poet  and  professor  at  the  school  of 
Cordova,  who  brought  up  Azariah  Hallevi, 
one  of  the  sons  of  the  Nagid  Rabbi  Joseph, 
killed  at  Granada.  Lastly,  Rabbi  Isaac  Ben 
Reuben,  also  a  poet  and  professor,  but  yet 
more  celebrated  as  the  father  of  Rabl^i  Moses 
Ben  Nachman. 

The  fourth  generation  commences  during 
the  twelfth  century,  and  is  adorned  principally 
by  Rabbi  Joseph  Ben  Meir  Hallevi,  named 
also  Aben  Megas,  the  successor  of  Rabbi  Isaac 
in  the  schools  of  Cordova.  He  died  in  1141, 
leaving  as  his  chief  disciples,  his  own  son  and 
nephew,  both  named  Meir,  and  the  celebrated 
Maimonides. 

The  ornaments  of  the  fifth  generation  were 
Maimonides,  of  whom  we  shall  afterwards 
speak  more  at  length, — and  his  cotemporaries. 


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OF    SPANISH   BABBANIM.  255 

Aben  Ezra,  Moses  and  David,  the  sons  of 
Joseph  Kimchi,  Rabbi  Judah  Aben  Tibbon, 
Rabbi  Joseph  Ben  Tzadick,  the  poet  and  judge, 
who  ended  his  days  at  the  head  of  the  remnant 
of  the  Jewish  people  in  Babylon.  To  the  same 
period  also  belongs  Rabbi  Abraham  Halleyi 
Ben  David  Ben  Dior,  a  native  of  Toledo,  sur- 
named  the  First,  to  distinguish  him  from  a  co- 
temporary  of  the  same  name  at  Naples.  He 
was  the  author  of  the  "  Sepher  Hacabbala,"  a 
book  containing  much  valuable  information 
concerning  the  history  of  the  learned  men, 
and  Rabbanim  of  the  dispersion. 

The  sixth  generation  began  at  the  close  of 
the  twelfth  century,  and  owes  its  greatest  lustre 
to  the  life  and  writings  of  Rabbi  Moses  Ben 
Nachman  (Ramban),  who  became  one  of  the 
greatest  poets  of  his  age,  and  to  another  Rabbi 
Moses,  called  Micozzi,  from  his  birthplace  in 
Italy,  but  long  established  at  Toledo,  and 
author  of  a  learned  dissertation  on  the  613 
commandments  of  the  Mosaic  and  Oral  Law. 

The  seventh  generation  is  that  of  Rabbi 
Solomon  Ben  Adereth,  called  Arisha,  of  Bar- 
celona ;  Rabbi  Gershon  Ben  Solomon,  also  of 
Catalonia ;  Rabbi  Perez  Haccohen,  the  Cabba- 
list ;  and  Rabbi  Jedidiah  Happenini  Badrashi, 
the  poet. 


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256  THE   NINE   GENERATIONS,    ETC. 

The  eighth  generation  began  in  the  year 
1300,  when  Rabbi  Asher,  a  German  by  birth, 
established  himself  at  Toledo,  and  was  there 
chosen,  on  account  of  his  great  learning,  head 
of  all  the  schools  and  synagogues  in  Spain. 
His  son,  Juda,  succeeded  him  in  1328,  in 'the 
same  city  to  which  the  Jewish  academy  of 
Cordova  had  been  removed  since  the  year 
1249. 

The  ninth  generation  of  the  Rabbanim  in- 
cludes the  latter  part  of  the  fourteenth,  and 
almost  the  whole  of  the  fifteenth  century.  The 
head  of  the  synagogue  (a  dignity  quite  distinct 
from  that  of  prince  of  the  captivity,  though 
more  than  once  held  by  the  same  individual) 
during  this  period  was,  first,  Rabbi  Isaac  Cam- 
panton,  who  died  at  the  age  of  103 ;  and  afiter- 
wards,  his  chief  disciple,  Rabbi  Isaac  Aboab,  of 
Castile,  surnamed  the  last  of  the  Geonim,  who 
left  that  kingdom  after  the  edict  of  banishment 
in  1492,  and  took  refuge  in  Portugal,  where 
he  soon  aft;er  ended  his  days. 

The  biography  of  all  these  learned  men 
among  the  Jews,  of  whom,  not  individuals  only, 
but  whole  families,  have  gained  a  high  repute 
as  commentators,  Talmudists,  poets,  and  phi- 
losophers; with  a  catalogue  of  their  works, 
written  both   in  Spain,    Portugal,    and    the 


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ABEN   EZRA,  257 

countries  to  which  they  were  afterwards 
banished,  have  formed  materials  for  many 
volumes.  Even  a  small  selection  from  the 
multitude  of  their  names  and  the  titles  of  their 
books,  classed  according  to  their  contents, 
would  much  exceed  the  bounds  of  this  little 
volume,  without  being  absolutely  essential  to 
the  object  it  has  in  view.  Two  names,  how- 
ever,  which  we  have  already  mentioned  in  the 
nine  ages  of  the  Spanish  Babbanim,  cannot 
well  be  passed  over  without  more  especial 
notice.  These  are  Aben  Ezra  and  Maimonides, 
both  equally  appreciated  by  the  learned, 
whether  Jews  or  Christians, — the  former, 
chiefly  as  a  commentator  on  the  Old  Testa* 
ment,  a  poet,  and  a  traveller ;  the  latter  as  a 
jurist,  a  theologian,  and  a  philosopher ;  both 
gifted  with  wealth  as  well  as  talent, — at  that 
time  rarely  united  in  the  same  individual. 

Abraham  Ben  Meir  Aben  Ezra  was  bom  at 
the  commencement  of  the  twelfth  century,  (pro- 
bably in  1119,)  at  Toledo,  of  a  family  already 
distinguished  by  more  than  one  name  of  emi- 
nence in  the  Jewish  history  of  the  Peninsula. 
Posterity  has  sumamed  him,  by  way  of  dis- 
tinction, Hachacham  (the  wise) ;  and  learned 
Christians  have  also  done  full  justice  to  his 


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258  ABSN  £ZRA. 

genius  and  extensive  learning.  Taking  into 
consideration  the  age  in  which  he  lived,  he 
was  really  eminent  as  a  commentator,  gram- 
marian, philosopher,  cabbalist,  physician,  ma- 
thematician, astronomer,  and  poet.  Gifted 
with  some  portion  of  wealth,  he  was  enabled 
to  gratify  a  taste  for  travelling,  which  he  pos- 
sessed in  common  with  many  of  his  coreligion- 
ists of  that  period.  This  taste,  which  belonged 
peculiarly  to  the  Jews  of  the  middle  ages,  is 
worthy  of  remark,  as  presenting  a  striking 
contrast  to  the  life  led  by  the  monks  and 
Roman  Catholic  clergy  of  that  period.  This 
desire  of  becoming  personally  acquainted  with 
a  world  in  which  they  met  with  so  much 
hostility — this  persevering  diligence  in  study, 
carried  on  amid  the  fatigues  and  excitement  of 
foreign  travel — and,  lastly,  the  desire  to  ease, 
as  it  were,  their  position  as  wanderers,  by 
becoming  really  so,  is  especially  observable  in 
the  character  of  Aben  Ezra.  The  various 
places  frotai  which  he  dated  his  different  works 
show,  in  the  literal  meaning  of  the  word,  that 
they  were  composed  by  a  wanderer  on  the 
earth.  One  of  them  was  written  at  Mantua, 
another  at  Rome,  another  in  London,  and  a 
fourth  in  Greece.     He  visited  also  the  land  of 


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ABEN  EZRA;  259 

his  forefathers,  and  held  discourse  with  the 
learned  men  of  Tiberias  upon  the  Masoretic 
text  of  the  Old  Testament.  He  died  on  his 
return  from  this  pilgrimage,  in  his  seventy- 
fifth  year, — about  twelve  years  earlier  than 
Maimonides,  who,  with  many  others,  esteemed 
and  admired  him.  As  a  commentator  on 
Scripture,  he  is  valued,  without  exception,  by 
all.  He  made  good  use  of  his  great  talents  as 
a  linguist,  and  was  skilfiil  in  detecting  the 
meaning  of  the  text;  while  his  expressions 
were  elegant,  and  sometimes  lively,  and  full 
of  wit.  His  works  have  always  been  favour- 
ably received  among  Christians,  and  by  them 
his  Commentaiies  have  been  translated  into 
Latin.  Complaint  is  made,  however,  of  the 
obscurity  of  his  style,  which  has  required 
comments  to  be  written  upon  his  Commentaries. 
He  also  highly  distinguished  himself  as  a  poet ; 
he  has  left  sacred  poetry,  hymns,  and  prayers, 
some  of  which  have  been  added  to  the  Liturgy 
of  the  Sephardim.  His  hymn  on  the  soul  is  a 
poetical  development  of  the  rabbinical  idea, 
that  each  night  during  sleep,  the  soul,  released 
from  the  body,  gives  account  to  the  Most 
High  of  the  works  done  during  the  day.  He 
has  left  also  other  descriptions  of  poetry, — as 
Epithalamiums,  Satires,  and  even  a  copy  of 


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260  ABEN  EZRA* 

verses  on  the  game  of  chess,*  which,  with  two 
other  poems  on  the  same  subject,  were  trans« 
lated,  and  published  in  Latin,  by  Hyde,  at  Ox« 
ford,  1694.  It  is  said  that  the  Spanish  version 
of  the  Old  Testament,  printed  at  Ferrara  in  the 
sixteenth  century,  was'  only  an  improvement 
upon  more  ancient  versions;  among  others, 
that  of  Aben  Ezra.  The  Spanish  language 
was  at  that  time  far  less  studied  by  the  learned 
Jews  than  Hebrew  and  Arabic. 

Equalling  Aben  Ezra  in  the  extent  and 
variety  of  his  knowledge,  though  perhaps  his 
inferior  in  character  and  genius,  Maimonides, 
his  cotemporary,  has,  without  doubt,  made 
a  more  forcible  and  decided  impression  upon 
the  whole  views  of  posterity,  especially  among 
his  own  nation.     When  we  have  given  a  few 

*  The  game  of  chess  was  deeply  studied,  and  gained 
much  favour  with  the  Jews.  Among  those  of  the 
Peninsula  there  were  three  distinguished  champions, — 
Aben  Ezra,  Rabbi  Ben  Senior  Aben  Zuchia,  and,  probably, 
Bedrashi,  the  poet,  who,  however,  has  written  on  this  sub- 
ject in  prose.  He  wrote  in  the  thirteenth  century  in  praise  of 
this  ingenious  and  warlike  game,  especially  as  a  means 
for  the  prevejition  of  gambling  and  card-playing.  Cards 
must,  therefore,  have  been  known  in  Spain  before  the 
reign  of  Charles  VI.  of  France,  for  whose  amusement, 
during  his  madness,  they  are  usually  said  to  have  been 
invented,  in  the  fifteenth  century. 


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MAIMONIDES^  261 

particulars  concerning  his  character  and  bio'^ 
graphy,  we  will  endeavour  to  point  out  the 
nature  of  this  influence,  and  the  kind  of  feel- 
ing that  was  awakened  in  the  synagogue  by 
the  theology  of  this  doctor. 

Eabbi  Moses  Ben  Majemon,  or,  with  the 
Greek  termination  that  has  since  been  affixed, 
Maimonides,  and  among  the  Jews,  by  a  pe- 
culiar species  of  abbreviation  with  which  they 
are  familiar,*  '*Rambam,"  was  bom  at  Cor^ 
dova,  in  Spain, — at  that  time  in  the  possession 
of  the  Arabs,  1139, 

His  father,  Majemon,  held  the  dignity  of  , 
Judge  of  the  Jews  in  his  native  city,  as  other 
members  of  the  family  had  done  for  some 
centuries  previous.  (His  genealogy  is  found 
in  one  of  his  works,  ascending  in  the  male  line 
thus : — Moses,  the  son  of  Majemon,  the  Judge, 
son  of  Joseph  the  Wise,  who  was  the  son 
of  Isaac,  son  of  Joseph,  son  of  Obadiah,  son  of 
Solomon,  son  of  Obadiah, — all  Judges.) 

Moses  himself,    bom  of  his  father's  first 

*  The  Jews  are  accustomed  to  designate  their  chief 
Rabbins  and  writers  bj  composing  a  word  formed  of  the 
initial  consonants  of  their  names,  prefixing  the  initial  of 
their  title  of  Rabbi.  Thus  Moses  Ben  Migemon  is 
called  bj  them  Rambam, — a  name  we  must  distinguish 
from  Ramban^  the  similar  abbreviation  of  Rabbi  Moses 
BenNachman.  .    . 


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262  HAIHONIDES; 

marriage  with  a  woman  of  inferior  rank,  was 
in  childhood  treated  with  contempt  by  the  rest 
of  the  family,  and  by  his  father  with  a  degree 
of  severity,  on  account  of  his  apparent  stu- 
pidity. Having  been  for  a  time  confided  to 
the  charge  of  Eabbi  Joseph  Aben  Megas,  or, 
according  to  some,  to  his  son,  Rabbi  Meir  Ben 
Joseph,  at  Lucena,  he  returned  to  his  father's 
abode  so  much  improved  in  learning  and 
polished  in  manners,  that  contempt  was  ex- 
changed for  admiration.  From  that  time,  he 
applied  himself  to  the  study  of  Arabic,  astro^ 
nomy,  and  medicine,  under  the  celebrated 
Averroes.  In  the  science  of  medicine  he  after- 
wards excelled,  and  published  several  works 
on  the  subject.  From  this  learned  Arab  the 
son  of  the  Hebrew  Judge  received  his  know- 
ledge of  Aristotle,  whose  works  were  brought 
into  Europe  by  the  Arabs,  where  they  gained 
an  influence  which  for  many  centuries  per- 
vaded the  whole  of  Christendom, 

The  events  which  happened  both  to  Averroes 
and  Maimonides,  and  nearly  at  the  same  time, 
bore  a  singular  coincidence.  Averroes,  first 
placed  at  Cordova  as  magistrate  by  the  African 
prince  of  the  Mohadites,  commenced  deliver- 
ing in  that  city  a  public  course  of  instruction, 
by  which  he  gained  many  personal  enemies. 


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.HAIMONIDES.  263 

Accused  of  having  spoken  with  disrespect 
of  the  Koran,  he  was  stripped  both  of  his 
dignity  and  fortune  in  1163.  In  this  distress 
he  sought  a  reAige  among  the  Jews  of 
Cordova,  some  say  even  in  the  house  of 
Maimonides.  Soon  after  this  escape,  he  fled 
irom  that  city  and  took  refuge  at  Fez,  in 
Africa,  where  he  was  compelled  to  undergo 
a  humiliating  penance  at  the  door  of  the 
Mosque,  and  to  recant  some  of  his  opinions 
considered  adverse  to  the  religion  of  the 
Koran.  He  afterwards  returned  to  Cordova, 
where  he  was  soon  reinstated  both  in  his 
former  dignity  and  his  office  of  professor, 
which  he  continued  to  exercise  during  the 
jspace  of  forty  years.  About  the  same  time 
Maimonides  was  compelled  by  perseci^tion  to 
quit  his  Spanish  fatherland.  A  party  among 
the  Jews,  discontented  with  African  rule, 
sought  an  alliance  with  the  Christian  sove- 
reigns, especially  King  Alphonso  VIII.,  of 
Leon  and  Castile.  Maimonides,  at  all  times 
disinclined  to  look  favourably  on  Chris- 
tians, and,  alas!  also  on  Christianity  itself^ 
preferred  remaining  on  the  Saracen  territory 
in  Spain,  and  consented  to  an  outward  con- 
formity  with  the  rites  of  Islamism,  in  prefer- 
ence to  seeking  refuge  in  a  Christian  country. 


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264  HAIMOKIDES. 

As  soon  as  a  favourable  opportunity  pre- 
sented itself  he  escaped  to  Africa,  and  after  a 
short  residence  at  Morocco,  established  him- 
self in  Egypt,  There,  for  some  time,  he 
traded  in  precious  stones  and  medals.  When 
the  Turks,  after  completing  their  conquests 
in  Asia,  overthrew  the  reigning  dynasty  in 
Egypt,  and  established  their  dominion  in  that 
country,  Maimonides  attached  himself  to  one 
of  their  generals,  to  >vhom  he  became  both 
physician  and  counsellor.  By  this  means  he 
was  soon  after  brought  to  the  notice  of 
Salaheddin  Yuzaf  Ben  Ayub,  formerly 
vizir  of  Bagdad,  who  became  after  the  year 
1171,  Sultan,  or  (as  he  was  more  usually 
called)  King  of  Egypt,  and  taken  into  his 
service.  He  filled  the  same  post  at  the  Court 
of  this  prince,  and  consequently  remained  at 
Cairo  till  the  day  of  his  death,  in  1208,  with  the 
exception  of  a  few  years  spent  in  disgrace  and 
exile,  caused  by  the  odious  accusations  of  his 
enemies,  that  he  had  attempted  to  poison  the 
Sultan.  He  is  said  to  have  spent  all  the  time 
of  his  banishment  in  a  cave ;  at  all  events,  he 
devoted  it  entirely  to  his  studies,  the  fruits 
of  which  have  filled  many  volumes.  He  was 
afterwards  recalled  and  reinstated  in  the 
favour  of  the  Sultan.      He  has  given  us  a 


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MAIMONIDES.  265 

sketch  of  his  way  of  life  during  forty  years, 
when  his  time  was  divided  between  his  prac- 
tice as  a  physician,  his  employment  at  the 
Court  of  Egypt,  and  his  diligent  and  extensive 
labour  in  his  study.  It  is  preserved  in  a 
letter  written  by  him  to  Rabbi  Samuel  Aben 
Tibbon,*  the  diligent  translator  of  his  Arabic 
works  into  the  Hebrew  tongue : — 

"  The  residence  of  the  King  and  my  abode 
are  situated  at  some  little  distance.  Every 
day  I  am  obliged  to  appear  at  Court ;  if  the 
Sultan,  or  one  of  his  wives  or  children  are  ill, 
I  remain  there  the  greater  part  of  the  day. 
If  all  are  well  I  return  home,  but  never 
before  noon.  Then  having  dismounted  and 
washed  my  hands,  I  find  the  house  filled  with 
people;  Jews  and  Gentiles,  rich  and  poor, 
merchants  and  magistrates,  friends  and  ene- 
mies, await  me.  I  request  their  permission 
to  take  some  food,  which  I  only  do  once 
in  the  twenty-four  hours.  After  that,  I  con- 
verse with  each  of  my  visitors,  and  prescribe 
medicines  for  them.  Meanwhile,  people  are 
continually  coming  in  and  going  out,  so  that 

*  The  familj  of  the  Aben  Tibbons  was  distinguished 
firom  father  to  son  hj  their  translation  of  the  Arabic 
works  of  those  learned  Jews,  who,  for  many  years,  wrote 
chiefly  or  entirely  in  Arabic 

N 


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266  MAIMONIDSS. 

it  is  generally  two  hours  after  dark  before  all 
t^e  attendance  ceases;  I  then  throw  myself 
on  a  couch,  exhausted  with  fatigue,  and  take 
a  little  repose.  You  may  imagine  that, 
during  all  this  time,  no  Israelite  can  .come 
to  me  for  private  intercourse  on  religious 
subjects.  It  is  only  on  the  Sabbath,  when 
the  greater  part  of  the  synagogue  come  to 
me  after  prayers,  that  I  can  give  them  any 
directions  for  their  conduct  during  the  week^ 
Then  We  read  together  a  little  until  noon, 
after  which  some  return  to  me,  and  we  read 
together  again  till  the  time  of  evening  prayen 
This  is  my  usual  way  of  life.  Do  not  think, 
however,  that  I  have  completely  described  it^ 
When,  by  the  help  of  God,  you  may  be  able, 
after  having  finished  the  translation  for  the 
use  of  your  fathers,  to  come  and  see  me  here^ 
you  can  convince  yourself,  by  your  own  eyes,, 
of  the  truth." 

How  this  learned  Jew,  in  the  midst  of  such 
overwhelming  occupation,  could  find  the 
leisure  requisite  to  collect  and  digest  materials 
for  the  numerous  and  voluminous  works  which 
have  flowed  from  his  pen  is  indeed  astonish- 
ing. His  books  amount  to  more  than  thirty 
in  number,  and  some  of  them  are  of  great 
magnitude.     To  name  a  few  of  them  will 


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MAIMONIDES.  267 

give  an  idea  of  the  wide  field  of  his  studies, 
and  the  variety  of  subjects  on  which  he  wrote. 
A  commentary  on  the  Mishna  was  the  labour 
<rf  his  youth,  begun  while  he  was  yet  in  Spain, 
and  concluded  in  lilgypt  in  his  thirtieth  year. 
This  book  was  written  in  Arabic,  and  soon 
after  translated  into  Hebrew.by  several  learned 
Israelites.  Ten  years  later  he  composed,  in 
very  elegant  Hebrew,  his  Yad  Hakazakah 
(the  powerful  hand),  which  contains  the  whole 
doctrine  of  the  Talmud  methodically  arranged, 
In  fourteen  books.  Of  a  later  date  is  his 
Moreh  Nevochim  (guide  to  the  doubtful), 
a  work  in  which  he  brings  forward  his  whole 
interpretation  of  the  Law  and  the  Talmud  with 
the  greatest  clearness.  We  shall  soon  have 
occasion  to  notice  the  effects  produced  by  this 
work  on  the  synagogues  during  its  author's 
lifetime  and  the  succeeding  generation. 

His  writings  are  various  on  many  subjects 
besides  Jewish  theology;  some  have  been 
printed,  and  others  still  remain  in  manuscript: 
they  treat  of  medicine,  natural  history,  and 
astronomy;  one,  entitled  "A  Letter  to  the 
Jews  of  Marseilles,"  appears  written  to  con- 
trovert the  opinion  which  then  prevailed  con- 
cerning the  influence  of  the  heavenly  bodies 
on  the  evenfas(  of  life.  His  work  on  logic  has 
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368         DISSENSIONS   IN   THE   SYNAGOGUE 

since  found  a  commentator  and  admirer  ifi 
Moses  Mendelssohn,  who,  eight  centuries  after 
Maimonides,  was,  in  more  than  one  point, 
the  upholder,  and  apparently  the  successor  to 
his  views.  We  possess,  besides,  the  volu- 
minous and  interesting  correspondence  of  the 
Babbi  of  Cordova. 

Maimonides  died  in  1208,  at  Cairo,  uni- 
versally looked  up  to  during  his  life-time,  and 
regretted  at  his  death  by  all  the  synagogues 
of  Africa,  Spain,  and  elsewhere.  Happier,  in 
one  respect,  than  hiis  cotemporary  and  friend 
Aben  Ezra,  whose  son  embraced  Mahomedan- 
ism.  Rabbi  Abraham,  the  son  of  Maimonides, 
succeeded  him  in  the  esteem  of  all  the  syna- 
gogues, who  conferred  upon  him  the  title  of 
Nagid,  or  Prince,  of  Spain,  which  was  con- 
tinued to  the  grandson  of  this  great  man,  the 
son  of  Rabbi  Abraham,  named  Rabbi  David. 
This  celebrated  Egyptian  Rabbi  was  buried 
at  Tiberias,  which  he  had  visited  with  the 
intention  of  ending  his  days  there.  Among 
the  Jews,  the  praise  of  Maimonides  has  passed 
into  a  proverb :  "  From  Moses  (the  lawgiver), 
to  Moses  (the  son  of  the  judge),  there  arose 
not  a  Moses.'* 

The  writings  of  Maimonides,  though  highly 
esteemed  by  posterity,  have  only  gained  real 


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ON   ACCOUNT   OF  MAIMONIDES.  269 

influence  oyer  a  small  minority  of  his  co- 
religionists, at  least  in  as  far  as  relates  to  the 
important  reformation  in  religious  belief  which 
he  eQdeavoured  to  bring  about,  and  the  philo- 
sophical bent  which  he  tried  to  give  to  rab* 
binical  Judaism.  This  attempt  caused,  for  a 
time,  discussions  and  agitation  in  the  syna^- 
gogues ;  but  these  ideas  never  took  deep  root 
either  in  that  century  or  any  that  succeeded 
it  To  form  some  idea  of  this  system,  and  of 
these  discussions  and  their  results,  it  will  be 
necessary  to  say  a  few  words  upon  the  cha- 
racter of  the  Spanish  and  African  synagogues 
of  the  Middle  Ages, — a  character  decidedly 
opposed  to  any  philosophical  tendency,  not? 
withstanding  the  light  with  which,  in  other 
respects,  they  appear  highly  gifted. 

Conformably  to  the  name  which  distin* 
guishes  the  schools  of  the  Spanish  Babbanim, 
and  with  their  position  as  successors  to  the 
ancient  schools  or  academies  of  Palestine, 
Babylonia,  and  Persia,  the  theology  of  their 
learned  men  was  entirely  based  upon  the 
authority  of  the  oral  law,  and  its  elucidation 
by  means  of  the  Talmud. 

For  one  moment  only  the  supporters  of 
tradition  were  threatened  with  a  defeat  from, 
the  Karaites.     This  sect,  whose  head  quarters 


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270        DISSENSIONS   IN  THS   SYNAGOGUE 

were  in  Palestine,  had  penetrated  throtigli 
Africa  as  fitr  as  Spain,  and  at  the  commence^ 
ment  of  the  twelfth  century  had  gained  suoh 
an  influential  party  among  the  learned,  and 
at  the  same  time  such  decided  support  from 
the  temporal  power,  that  for  a  moment  they 
appeared  to  possess  the  means  of  excluding 
and  persecuting  their  Talmudical  opponents. 
The  tables  were  soon  turned,  however,  when 
Babbi    Judah,    a    decided    Talmudist,    was 
appointed  Major-domo  to  King  Alphonso,  the 
Eighth  of  that  name,  often  styled  "  Emperor 
of  both  the  Spains."     This  Rabbi  employed 
all  his  power  and  used  all  his  influence  against 
the  Karaites,   who,  from  that  time  (1157), 
were  compelled  to  leave  the  country.    Neither 
did  they  succeed  in  gaining  any  fitvour  with 
the  great  Jewish  doctors  of  Spain  and  Africa. 
Babbi  Abraham  Ben  Dior,  whom  we  have 
before  mentioned,   wrote  against  them  with 
great    vehemence    in    defence    of  tradition. 
With  equal  energy,  but  less  vehemence,  they 
were  opposed  by  the  poet,  Judah  Hallevi,  in 
his  Khusam.     Aben  Ezra,  though  numbering 
a  Karaite  of  distinction  among  his  instructors, 
was,    nevertheless,   very  frir   from  attaching 
himself  to    their   sect.      Maimonides   spoke 
against  them  with  great  zeal  in  Egypt,  though 


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COKCSRKmC   HAIM0KIDE8.  211 

he  acknowledged  at  the  same  time  the  great 
merit  and  high  character  of  some  of  their 
teachers.  His  son,  Rahbi  Abraham,  brought 
over  a  whole  synagogue  of  Karaites  to  Rab- 
binism.  Al  Charisi,  whom  we  shall  soon  have 
occasion  to  mention  as  a  poet,  was  wont  to 
say  of  the  Karaites,  "  that  they  preserved  the 
tree,  but  cast  away  the  fruit"  ♦ 

Thus  deeply  rooted  in  the  minds  of  the 
Jews  and  their  teachers  was  a  conviction  of 
the  indissoluble  tie  subsisting  between  the  law 
and  their  traditions!  This  conviction  is  not 
to  be  wondered  at  It  is  perfectly  natural, 
while  the  veil  on  the  heart  of  the  Israelite 
prevents  him  from  receiving  the  Gospel  of 
Jesus  Christ  as  the  accomplishment  and  com*^ 
i)letion  of  the  Old  Testament,  he  should  yet 
feel  the  need  of  some  sequel  to  the  Mosaic 
dispensation.  As  for  Maimonides,  though, 
like  his  brethren,  opposed  to  the  doctrines  of 
the  Gospel,  yet  with  a  mind  too  highly 
enlightened  to  be  enslaved  by  Jewish  tradi- 
tion, he  sought  to  form  a  system  of  his  own, 
which,  however,  proved  equally  unprofitable 
in  its  results. 

Brought  up  in  the  Arabic  school  of  Aris* 

*  The  sect  of  the   Saddncees  had  for  some  time  a 
number  of  adherents  in  Spain,  prindpafiy  at  Burgos. 


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272         DISSENSIONS   IN   T^   SYNAGOGUE 

totle,  and  as  it  appears  still  more  devoted  to 
the  works  of  Plato,  his  chief  aim  was,  without 
quite  overthrowing  traditional  Judaism,  to 
base  the  establishment  of  its  principles  upon 
philosophy  rather  than  upon  revelation.  The 
immense  labour  he  undertook  in  arranging^ 
purifying,  and  concentrating  the  whole  body 
of  Talmudic  theology  and  jurisprudence,  was 
with  this  aim,  and  in  accordance  with  these 
views.  We  shall  in  this  respect  also  observe 
in  later  times  the  similarity  of  mind  and 
purpose  between  Moses  Maimonides  of  the 
twelfth,  and  Moses  Mendelssohn  of  the  eigh* 
teenth  century. 

Such  a  system,  though  cautiously  worded 
and  introduced,  and  even  carried  out,  from  the 
religious  feelings  of  its  author,  and  of  the  age 
in  which  he  lived,  with  the  greatest  apparent 
respect  for  the  actual  historical  revelation  of 
the  Old  Testament,  could  not  fail  of  exciting  a 
suspicion  as  to  its  consequences  among  the 
orthodox  members  of  the  synagogue. 

Immediately  after  the  publication,  of  the 
Moreh  Nevochim,  during  the  life  of  its  author, 
discussions  began  in  the  Jewish  communities  of 
Finance,  and  afterwards  of  Spain.  The  first 
outcry  was  raised  at  Montpellier,  where  Kahbi 
Salomon   and  *  two  of    his    disciples.    Rabbi 


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CONCERNING   MAIMONIDES.  2T3 

David  and  Sabbi  Jonah,  brought  against  the 
work  an  accusation  of  heresy,  both  in  respect 
of  the  Talmud  and  the  Word  of  God, 

The  book  was  in  consequence  condemned, 
and  sentence  of  excommunication  pronounced 
against  any  one  who  should  read  it,  or  any 
other  work  imbued  with  the  Greek  and 
Arabic  philosophy.  The  synagogues  of  Spain^ 
were  soon  divided  into  two  great  and  formid- 
able parties.  The  most  celebrated  teachers 
formed  a  decided  majority  in  favour  of 
Maimonides  ;  while  Babbi  Judah  Ben  Rabbi 
Joseph  Alphacar,  of  Toledo,  equally  esteemed 
as  a  physician  and  a  theologian,  took  the  part 
of  his  antagonists,  the  French  Rabbins.  A 
correspondence  was  consequently  established  be- 
tween Rabbi  Judah  and  Rabbi  David  Kimchi, 
the  well-known  commentator  on  the  Old 
Testament ;  and  even  the  most  decided 
friends  of  Maimonides  must  confess,  that  the 
arguments  they  used  were  well  grounded, 
and  their  style  of  writing  full  of  a  vigour  and 
beauty  from  which  even  the  vehemence  of 
their  expressions  could  not  detract.  The  letter 
of  Rabbi  Judah  plainly  proves,  that  the  system 
of  Maimonides,  by  its  arbitrary  explanations  and 
inventions,  attacked  the  authority,  not  of  tra- 
dition only,  but  also  of  Holy  Scripture.  Other 
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274         DISSSN8ION8   IN   THE   SYNAGOGUE 

learned  Jews  have  not  hesitated^  to  suspect 
Maimonides  of  a  design  to  weaken  the  basis 
of  the  two  fondamental  doctrines  of  the 
Jewish  religion, — the  resurrection  of  the 
dead,  and  the  expectation  of  a  Messiah, 
although  he  has  placed  both  these  dogmas  in 
his  celebrated  table  of  the  thirteen  articles  of 
"Jewish  belief. 

However,  the  party  formed  against  Maimo- 
nides and  his  writings  was  soon  obliged  to 
give  way  to  the  undoubted  majority  and 
great  superiority  of  his  admirers.  The  sen- 
tence of  excommunication  passed  in  France 
was  revoked,  and  the  name  of  Maimonides  yet 
more  highly  honoured  as  a  star  of  the  first 
magnitude  among  the  learned  men  of  Israel 
during  their  exile.  Nevertheless,  we  do  not 
find  that  the  system  introduced  by  this  re- 
markable man  has  ultimately  pervaded,  to  any 
great  extent,  the  mass  of  Judaism,  or  eveu 
influenced  the  doctrines  of  its  teachers.  Rab- 
binism  continued  as  much  after  as  before  the 
time  of  Maimonides,  to  exercise  dominion  over 
the  synagogue.  His  writings,  however,  con- 
tributed greatly  to  extend  the  horizon  of 
Jewish  theology  in  the  southern  countries. 
It  is  very  possible  that  the  many  conversions 
to  Christianity  of  which  we  read  in  the  annals 


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CONCEBNINQ   MAIM0KIDE8.  275 

of  the  fourteenth  and  fifteenth  centuries  were 
theefiecty  humanly  speakings  of  that  deficiency 
of  real  religion  which  was  sensibly  felt  when 
minds  were  agitated  by  the  discussions  con- 
cerning the  system  and  doctrines  of  Maimo- 
nides. 

The  war&re  stirred  up  in  the  synagogue  by 
the  writings  of  Maimonides  between  philo- 
sophy and  religion  was,  however,  no  novelty. 
Neither  did  it  cease  after  the  momentary 
triumph  gained  by  his  friends. 

In  the  days  of  Rabbi  Asher,  head  of  the 
synagogue  of  Toledo,  about  a  century  after  the 
time  of  Maimonides,  grievous  complaints  were 
uttered  by  the  Babbins  of  Spain  on  the  pro- 
gress of  Infidelity,  and  indifference  in  matters 
of  faith,  caused  by  the  influence  of  Greek  phi- 
losophy, Rabbi  Salomon  Ben  Abraham  Ben 
Addereth,  of  Barcelona,  a  friend  of  science, 
whose  character  had  gained  him  the  esteem  of 
all  parties,  considered  the  complaints  against 
an  unbelieving  system  of  theology  so  well 
founded,  tbat  he  issued  an  edict  forbidding 
the  study  of  Greek  philosophy  to  all  Israelites 
under  twenty-five  years  of  age.  The  students 
of  medicine  were  alone  exempted  from  this 
prohibition,  to  which  was  attached  the  penalty 
of  excommunication.     The  reasons  for  this 


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276         DISSENSIONS   IN   THE   SYNAGOGUE 

prohibition  given  in  the,  edict  are  indeed 
curious.  "There  are,"  says  this  document, 
"  certain  semi-philosophers  of  Provence,  who 
have  given  cause  for  the  coercive  measures  it 
was  necessary  to  make  use  of.  These  men 
have  not  feared  to  profane  Holy  Scripture  by 
an  absurd  system  of  allegorical  interpretation." 

We  might  imagine  ourselves  in  the  age  of 
Strauss  and  Dupin,  in  reading  the  examples 
cited  as  the  ground  of  these  complaints: — 
"Abraham  and  Sarah  are  to  be  looked  upon  only 
as  allegorical  personages  !— the  twelve  tribes 
of  Israel  are  symbols  to  express  the  twelve  signs 
of  the  zodiac ! — ^the  Urim  andThummim,  astro- 
nomical instruments ! — the  battle  of  the  four 
kings  against  five,  in  the  Book  of  Genesis,  is 
only  a  myth,  or  allegorical  representation  of 
the  influence  of  the  four  elements  on  the  five 
senses !  The  whole  history  of  the  creation  is 
a  fable!" 

It  will  not  surprise  us,  after  this,  to  hear; 
that  not  only  the  severe  and  narrow-minded 
Rabbinism  of  Rabbi  Asher,  with  his  numerous 
and  powerful  followers,  but  also  the  party 
who  favoured  worldly  science,  and  to  which 
the  greater  part  of  the  Spanish  synagogues 
belonged,  thought  it  necessary  to  take  mea- 
sures against  the  introduction  of  similar  doc* 


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CONCERNING   MAIMONIDES.  277 

trines.  At  length  the  aBcient  school  of  tradi- 
tion gained  the  npper  hand  among  the  Jews  of 
the  Peninsula,  without,  however,  destroying 
the  influence  of  science  and  philosophy,  or 
entirely  excluding  these  studies. 

It  is  to  the  Jews  of  Spain  and  Portugal  that 
we  are  especially  indebted  for  the  preservation 
and  practice  of  medical  science  during  the 
middle  ages.  Jewish  physicians  are  often 
mentioned  in  the  history  of  that  period,  and 
notice  taken  in  all  countries  of  their  scientific 
knowledge  as  well  as  practical  skill.  The 
number  of  these  doctors  was  as  remarkable  aa 
their  talents,  and  we  meet  with  them  in  the 
exercise  of  their  profession  at  the  Courts  of 
the  Caliph  and  Sultan,  as  well  as  the  Pontiff. 
The  writers  of  the  present  time  who  look  upon 
the  Jews  as  the  princes  of  medical  science  in 
the  middle  ages,  have  chiefly  in  view  those  of 
Spain  and  Portugal.*  If,  as  many  say,  the 
family  of  the  Aben  Zoars  were  Jews  by  birth 
as  well  as  religion,  then  the  honour  of  having 
educated  Averroes  in  the  medical  science 
belongs,  from  the  avowal  of  that  great  man 
himself,  to  the  Jewish  nation. 

Whether  this  fact  be  ascertained  or  not,  the 

♦  See  E.  Carmshy'a  interesting  work,  "Histoire  des 
MMecins  Juifs  anciens  et  modernes.    Brnssells,  1844. 


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3T8  ISWISR  PHYSICtAKS. 

Jews  of  Spain  were,  with  the  Arabs  and  some 
few  of  the  Roman  Catholic  clergy,  the  chief  pre- 
Servers  and  professors  of  the  science  of  medicine. 
We  haye  already  mentioned  some  of  their  Bab- 
bins  who  were  thus  distinguished,  but  we  may 
name  many  others,  both  among  the  professors 
of  Judaism  and  the  Conversos.  Babbi  Moses 
Abdalla,  of  CSordo'va,  wrote,  in  Arabic,  a  book 
on  medicine,  of  which  a  manuscript  copy  is 
stiU  preserved  in  the  library  of  the  Escurial ; 
and  in  Hebrew,  a  commentary  on  the  aphorisms 
of  Hippocrates, — ^of  which  a  manuscript  copy 
exists  in  the  library  at  Leyden.  Babbi  Isaac, 
in  the  eleventh  century,  wrote  some  books  in 
Spanish  on  '*  fever/'  Babbi  Moses  Ben  Je- 
hudah  Aben  Tibbon,  in  the  twelfth  century, 
translated  into  Hebrew  some  Arabic  writings 
on  the  subjects  of  medicine,  jurisprudence, 
philosophy,  and  astronomy.  In  the  same 
century  Babbi  Jonah  Ben  Ganach,  of  Cordova, 
called  by  the  Arabs,  Abn  Walid  Marun  Ben 
Ganach,  gained  great  distinction,  both  as  a 
linguist  and  physician. 

The  decrees  of  Councils,  however,  often  re^ 
peated,  availed  little  towards  excluding  the 
Jews  from  the  practice  of  medicine  even  in 
France  and  Italy,  much  less  in  Castile, 
ArragoQ,  and  Portugal.    In  the  first-mentioned 


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JEWISH  FHT8ICIAN8.  279 

of  these  Spanish  kingdoms  we  find  an  nn* 
interrupted  succession  of  Jewish  physicians  to 
the  King,  also  employed  by  them  in  the  affiurs 
ef  the  State*  For  example,  the  marriage  settle- 
ments  of  Henry  IV.  of  Castile,  brother  of 
Isabella,  with  the  Princess  of  Portugal,  were 
drawn  up  by  a  Jewish  ambassador,  Babbi 
Joseph,  the  King's  physician.  In  Arragon, 
during  the  same  century,  an  Israelitish  phy* 
sidan,  Abiathar,  of  Lerida,  gained  great  renown 
by  curing  the  blindness  of  King  John  II.,  at 
the  age  of  eighty.  This  cure  is  the  first 
instance  of  the  operation  for  cataract  which 
has  been  recorded  in  the  history  of  medical 
science.  The  physician  ventured  to  perform 
the  operation  upon  one  eye,  and  having  com« 
pletely  succeeded,  felt  some  hesitation  in  pro- 
ceeding ;  but  the  resolute  and  courageous  old 
King  compelled  him  to  risk  an  operation  on 
the  other  also.  In  Portugal  the  names  of 
Jewish  physicians  are  rarely  wanting  among 
the  officers  of  the  King's  household.  The 
dignity  of  "  Physico-mdr,"  or  first  physician, 
was  instituted  by  King  John  I.  of  Portugal,  in 
1385,  and  bestowed  first  upon  the  Jewish 
physician  Micer  Moses,  tc^ether  with  great 
privileges  for  himself  and  nation.  Other 
Jewish  professors  of  medicine  were  treated  with 


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280  JEWISH   PHYSICIANlSr. 

similar  consideration  until  the  reign  of  King 
Manuel.  When  the  Jews  were  banished  from 
Portugal,  in  the  year  1497,  the  New  Christians 
— concealed  or  baptized  Jews  and  their  de^ 
scendants — continued  to  distinguish  themselves 
as  professors  of  medicine ;  for  example,  Dr. 
Manuel  de  Fonseca,  and  his  son,  Dr.  Lope  de 
Fonseca, — whose  daughter,  Ginebra,  was  burnt 
by  the  Inquisition  on  a  charge  of  Judaism ; 
Dr.  Geronimo  Menes  Eamires,  whose  pos- 
terity, with  that  of  the  Fonsecas,  were  for  two 
centuries  both  numerous  and  distinguished 
among  the  Jews  of  Hamburgh  and  Amster- 
dam. Other  celebrated  practitioners,  who 
emigrated  from  Portugal,  also  established 
themselves  in  these  cities.  Dr.  Joao  Kodrigo, 
of  Castellobranco,  called  Amatus  Lusita- 
nus;  Dr.  Abraham  Zacuto,  (Zacutus  Lusi-^ 
tanus,)  author  of  the  "  History  of  Celebrated 
Physicians ; "  Dr.  Immanuel  Jacob  Eosales, 
upon  whom  the  Emperor  of  Germany  bestowed 
the  dignity  of  Count  Palatine;  and  Dr. 
Bodrigo  de  Castro,  were  equally  known  by 
their  writings  and  celebrated  for  their  en- 
lightened views  during  the  early  part  of  the 
seventeenth  century.  Two  sons  of  the  last- 
named  physician  rose  to  eminence  in  the  same 
profession,  Dr.  Bento  (Baruch),  and  Dr.  Andr^ 


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JEWISH   PHYSICIANS.  281 

(Daniel)  de  Castro ;  one  was  physician  to  the 
Court  of  Queen  Christina,  of  Sweden,  the 
other  to  the  King  of  Denmark.  At  Amster- 
dam an  uninterrupted  series  of  physicians  has 
risen  from  the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  syna- 
gogue during  the  last  two  centuries.  Among 
them,  besides  Zacutus  and  Rosales,  were  Dr; 
Bueno  Bibas,  consulted  at  the  Hague  in  the 
last  illness  of  Prince  Maurice;  Drs.  Orobio 
de  Castro  and .  Semah  Aboab,  both  father  and 
son,  with  many  others,  too  numerous  to  men- 
tion here,  before  Dr.  Immanuel  Cappadose  in 
our  days. 

In  France,  also,  the  Jews  from  Provence, 
or  from  the  Peninsula,  frequently  distin- 
guished themselves  in  the  medical  profession. 
A  Jewish  physician  was  called  in  to  Francis 
I.,  and  is  said  to  have  been  the  first  to  recom- 
mend the  use  of  ass's  milk.  The  poet  Nos^ 
tradamus,  well  known  on  account  of  his 
singular  predictions,  was  the  descendant  of  a 
Jewish  physician  at  the  Court  of  King  E6n6, 
of  Provence.  A  little  before  the  time  of 
Nostradamus,  another  physician,  of  Jewish 
birth,  followed  the  Constable  of  Bourbon  in 
his  exile  from  his  king  and  country.  The  son 
of  this  physician  was  the  celebrated  and  dis- 
tinguished Chancellor  of  France,  Michel  de 


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382  JEWISH  PHTSICtANS. 

THopital,  at  the  end  of  the  sutteenth  century, 
equally  celebrated  for  his  Christian  virtue, 
and  his  great  talent  as  a  legist  and  statesman. 
Catherine  de  Medici  in  those  times  sought  to 
the  Jews  more  for  astrology  than  medicine. 
In  both  these  capacities  were  Jewish  emi« 
grants  from  the  Peninsula  received  by  Mary 
de  Medici,  wife  of  Henry  IV.,  of  France; 
among  their  number  was  Dr.  Elias  Bodrigo 
Montalto,  who  died  at  Paris,  and  was  after^ 
wards  removed  for  interment  to  the  Portu-^ 
guese  Jewish  cemetery  of  Onverkerk,  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Amsterdam.  In  the  eigh* 
teenth  century.  Dr.  de  Sylva,  a  Portuguese 
Israelite,  was  highly  celebrated  in  France  as  a 
physician ;  he  was  one  of  the  very  few  upon 
whom  Voltaire,  the  great  enemy  of  Israel, 
bestowed,  both  in  his  poetry  and  history,  some 
words  of  praise. 

The  celebrity  gained  by  the  Jews  of  the 
Peninsula  in  the  knowledge  and  practice  of 
medicine  is  honourably  sustained  at  the  pre- 
sent time  by  their  coreligionists  of  German 
extraction.  We  shall  have  occasion  to  notice, 
in  a  later  period,  how  they  have  succeeded 
their  brethren  of  the  south  in  many  different 
departments  of  science  and  erudition,  and 
have,  in  many  respects,  surpassed  them. 


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JEWISH  .ASTRONOMERS  AND  TRAYELLERS,     283 

We  rarely  find  mention  made  of  a  Jewish 
theologian  or  physician  in  Spain  and  Portugal^ 
during  the  Middle  Ages,  who  was  not  at  the 
same  time  either  a  poet,  astronomer,  or  mathe- 
matician— often  all  these  at  once.     The  study 
of  astronomy,   at  that  time  looked  upon  as 
almost  inseparable  from   judicial    astrology, 
was,  by  the  learned  Jews,   turned  to  most 
valuable  practical  account.     We  shall  soon 
hare  occasion  to  remark  upon  the  share  they 
took  in  the  maritime  discoveries  of  Portugal^ 
by  the  appUcation  of  astronomy  to  the  pur« 
poses  of  navigation.    The  learned  Jews  of  the 
Peninsula  often  visited  distant  countries,  and 
accomplished  lengthened  voyages.    We  may 
give  as  an  instance  a  well-known  Babbi  of 
the    twelfth  century,    Benjamm  of  Tudela, 
whose  ^*  Itinerary '*  has  been  the  subject  of 
much  diversity  of  judgment.      Its  singulat 
narratives  and  palpable  mistakes  have  some- 
times given  rise  to  a  doubt  whether  its  author 
had  really  made  the  journey,  or  had  not  rather 
dbosen  this  form  to  relate  the  observations  of 
others,  gathered  £rom  different  sources.    In 
our  days,   deeper  investigation  has  certified 
the  reality  of  the  voyage,  and  the  actual  truth 
of  many  of  its  details,  which  are,  however. 


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284  HEBREW  FOETBT  IN  SPAIN. 

mixed  up  with  much  that  is  fabulous,  and 
accompanied  by  many  incredible  tales. 

We  must  add,  to  the  learned  Jewish  astrot 
nomers  already  mentioned,  the  name  of  Babbi 
Abraham  Zacuto,  professor  of  astronomy  at 
the  Academy  of  Salamanca,  his  native  town, 
till  the  year  1492,  when,  having  fled  to  Por« 
tugal,  he  was  favourably  received  by  King 
Manuel,  and  raised  to  a  post  of  honour  at  his 
court.  He  made  a  perpetual  almanac,  dedir 
cated  to  the  Bishop  of  Salamanca,  which  he 
published  at  Leiria,  in  Portugal,  a.d.  1495. 
His  name  is  well  known  in  Rabbinical  lite- 
rature as  the  author  of  the  "  Sepher  Yacha- 
sin  "  (book  of  genealogies),  a  valuable  source 
of  reference  for  the  history  of  the  older  rab- 
binical theology  and  the  schools  which  suc^ 
ceeded  it.  He  was  ancestor  to  the  physician 
Zacutus  Lusitanus  before  mentioned. 

That  the  general  revival  of  literature  and 
science  among  the  Jews  of  Spain  was  owing 
to  the  influence  of  the  Arabs,  is  an  established 
feet,  easily  taken  for  granted  in  every  branch 
we  have  hitherto  discussed.  We  cannot  dis- 
allow the  existence  of  this  influence  even  over 
the  Hebrew  poetry  which  was  written  in 
Spain.     Without  doubt,  poetry  was  inherited 


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HEBREW   POETRY   IN   SPAIN.  285 

by  the  Israelites,  as  a  gift  pertaining  to  their 
history  and  their  race  (which  they  surely  had 
no  need  to  borrow  from  the  sons  of  Ishmael), 
who  were  in  possession  of  all  the  treasures  of 
poetry  imd  of  language  contained  in  the  books 
of  Holy  Scripture  committed  to  their  c^e. 
Yet  we  cannot  deny  that  Arabian  example 
and  models  greatly  assisted  to  revive  the  poetic 
genius  of  the  dispersed  Israelites,  at  a  time 
when  this  talent  was  on  the  point  of  being 
lost,  choked  amid  the  brambles,  and  envdoped 
in  the  mists  of  Cabbalistic  and  Talmudic  sub- 
tilty.  Some  influence  over  the  Hebrew  poetry 
of  the  Spanish  Jews  is  attributed  to  the 
writings  of  an  Italian  predecessor,  Rabbi 
Eleazar  Ben  Jacob  Kalir.  However  this  may 
be,  it  is  certain  that  the  Spanish  schools  of 
poetry  profited  greatly  by  the  example  of  their 
neighbours  the  Arabs,  in  the  study  of  lan- 
guage and  composition,  as  well  as  in  the 
knowledge  of  rhythm.  Although  the  modem 
poetry  of  the  Israelites  during  their  dispersion 
is  no  more  to  be  compared  with  the  sacred 
poetry  of  their  fathers,  than  a  fruit  dried  or 
artificially  preserved  through  the  winter  can 
rival  the  same  fruit  in  summer  freshly  gathered 
from  the  tree,  yet  this  school  of  Hebrew 
poetry,    flourishing  during  five  centuries  in 


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286      HEBRBW  POETRY  IN  SPAIN; 

Spain,  forms  a  striking  feature  in  the  modern 
history  of  the  Jews.  In  beauty  and  eleyatiou 
of  style  it  certainly  deserves  the  preference 
over  any  cotemporary  efforts  made  by  the 
French  or  Italians,  and  its  celebrity  has  con* 
tinued  undiminished  in  spite  of  the  master- 
pieces of  Hebrew  poetry  which  have  arisen  in 
our  time  from  Germany,  We  will  now  glance 
our  eye  over  the  CoryphsBi  of  the  Spanish 
school  of  poetry,  which  reached  its  greatest 
eminence  in  the  twelfth  and  thirteenth  cen- 
turies. 

We  have  before  mentioned  Rabbi  Chasdai* 
Ben  Isaac  as  high  in  repute  at  the  CSourt  of 
Abderhaman  IIL,  in  the  latter  half  of  the 
tenth  century.  An  idea  may  be  formed  of  his 
character,  and  the  nature  of  his  poetical  talent, 
from  his  letter  to  Joseph,  the  Jewish  King  of 
the  Chasars.  Doubts  have  been  raised  both 
as  to  the  existence  of  such  a  kingdom,  and  to 
the  authenticity  of  the  Hebrew  Babbins' 
letter.     Later  researches  seem  to  have  partly 

*  The  name  fully  written  is  Chasdai  Bar  Isaac  Bar 
Ezra  Bar  Schafrut.  Bar  and  Ben  (sometimes  Aben)  in 
Hebrew,  and  Ibn  in  Arabic,  signify  son.  Aben  is  more 
often  used  by  the  rabbinical  writers  to  denote  the  family 
name,  as  Aben  Ezra,  Aben  Tibbon,  Aben  Dana  ;  and 
Ben,  Bar,  and  Ibn,  to  express  the  immediate  relation 
between  father  and  8on« 


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H£B&EW  POETET  IN   SPAIN*  287 

confirmed  and  partly  modified  Jewish  tradition 
on  this  subject  Kings  who  held  the  Jewish 
religion  appear  to  have  reigned  over  the 
country  of  the  Chasars,  or  Chosars,  a  Turkish 
race  dwelling  on  the  western  borders  of  the 
Caspian  sea^  These  kings,  whose  subjects 
were  either  Christian  or  Mahomedan,  seem  to 
have  first  embraced  Judaism  in  the  eighth 
century.*  The  report  of  this  kingdom  was 
calculated  to  excite  a  lively  iaterest  among 
the  Jews,  both  of  Spain  and  the  East.  Eabbi 
Chasdai's  letter,  the  authenticity  of  which  has 
been  well  corroborated,  gives  a  short  accoimt 
of  the  poet  himself,  and  the  position  he  filled 
at  the  Court  of  Cordova:  it  describes  the 
general  condition  of  the  Jews  in  Spain,  and 
gives  some  details  as  to  the  nature  of  that 
country.  The  Babbi  expresses  the  wish  he  felt 
to  receive  a  similar  communication  concerning 
the  Jews  in  the  country  of  the  Chasars.  The 
introduction  is  in  rhyme,  and  according  to  the 
Hebraico-Arabian  style,  forms  an  acrostic  of 
the  author's  name. 

*  Earainsin,  in  his  ''  History  of  the  Bussian  Empirey** 
Book  L,  throws  most  light  on  this  kingdom  of  the 
Chasars,  while  Basnage  suspects  that  it  never  existed* 
See  Jost*s  *'  Oeschichte  der  Israeliten,''  vi.,  1 1 1 — 120,  and 
note  to  page  865» 


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288  HEBREW  FOET&Y   IN    SPAIN. 

To  this  century  also  belongs,  with  some 
names  of  less  distinction,  that  of  Rabbi  Isaac 
Ben  Chalfon,  an  admirer  and  distinguished 
student  of  his  national  poetry;  also  that  of 
Rabbi  Joseph  Ben  Isaac  Ibn  Stanas  Ibn 
Abitur,  from  whom  the  Caliph  Al-Hakem 
requested  a  translation  of  part  of  the  Talmud 
into  Arabic,  and  who  is  chiefly  known  in  the 
annals  of  the  Spanish  Jews  by  his  discussions 
with  Kabbi  Moses,  of  Cordova,  who  excommuni- 
cated him.  In  consequence  of  this  sentence, 
he  resided  abroad,  and  ended  his  days  at 
Damascus.  His  poetry,  like  that  of  the 
greater  part  of  the  Hebrew  school  of  Spain, 
was  intended  for  religious  worship,  and  as 
such  has  been  added  to  the  Liturgy  of  tl^ 
synagogue.  A  keduscha,  or  song  of  praise, 
on  the  "  three  holy"  of  Isaiah  (vi.  3),  is  con- 
sidered as  his  masterpiece:  this  theme,  with 
many  variations  and  different  prefitces,  is 
frequently  repeated  in  the  Jewish  prayers. 

Kabbi  Isaac  Ben  Jehudah  Ben  Giath, 
whom  we  have  already  named,  is  one  of  the 
most  distinguished  of  the  Hebrew  poets  in 
Spain.  He  gained  repute  also  as  a  philo- 
sopher, physiologist,  cosmographer,  and  astro- 
nomer, according  to  the  measure  of  light 
which  had  been  thrown  upon  these  sciences  at 


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HEBREW   POETRT   IN   SPAIN.  289 

that  period.  As  a  poet,  he  is  admired  for  his 
striking  and  well-turned  sentences,  and  his 
exquisite  taste  in  the  use  of  language ;  but  on 
the  other  hand,  his  style  is  thought  too  highly 
finished,  and  too  much  laden  with  scientific 
ornament,  which  has  caused  it  to  be  com- 
pared to  the  Alexandrian  school  of  Greek 
poetry.  His  critics  have,  however,  unani- 
mously joined  in  praising  his  penitential 
hymns,  found  in  the  Liturgies  of  many  syna- 
gogues for  the  services  during  the  month  that 
precedes  the  new  year.  Painfully  charac- 
teristic is  the  mixture  of  truth  and  error  in 
one  of  these  hymns,  proceeding  from  the  pen 
of  a  poet  who  still  disowns  his  Messiah;  After 
reminding  the  pious,  when  preparing  for  their 
evening  devotion,  that  the  only  foundation  of 
their  trust  was  in  the  mercy  of  God,  not  in 
their  own  works,  he  adds,  "  Now  devout 
prayers  must  fill  the  place  of  the  ancient 
sacrifices."  He  composed  also  hymns  for  the 
Feast  of  the  Passover  and  the  great  Day  of 
Atonement,  with  a  poetical  paraphrase  of  the 
biblical  narrative  of  £lijah*s  prayers  on  Mount 
Carmel.  To  Isaac  Ben  Giath  succeeded  as 
poets  Babbi  Joseph  Ben  Jacob  Ibn  Sahl,  his 
disciple,  who  died  a.d.  1124,  at  Cordova;  and 
hb  own  son  and  grandson,  Babbi  Jehudah  and 

o 


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290  HEBREW   POETRY   IN   SPAIN. 

Rabbi  Solomon  Ben  Giath,  both  looked  upon 
as  masters  of  the  art  by  such  judges  as  AI 
Charisi  and  Judah  Hallevi. 

Among  the  Hebrew  poets  of  Spain  in  the 
eleventh  century,  we  may  mention  also  Rabbi 
Bechai  Ben  Joseph  Ben  Fekudah  and  Rabbi 
Moses  Ben  Jacob,  of  the  distinguished  family 
of  Aben  Ezra.  Rabbi  Bechai,  sumamed 
Hazaken  (the  old)  and  Hadayin  (the  judge), 
is  principally  known  by  a  religious  work  on 
the  *'  Duties  of  the  Heart,"  written  in  a  kind  of 
poetical  prose,  but  considered  as  a  poem  more 
on  account  of  its  sublimity  of  style  and  lan- 
guage, than  for  its  actual  versification.  He 
wrote  it  in  Arabic,  and  apparently  from 
Arabian  models.  A  Hebrew  translation  was 
made  first  by  Joseph  Kimchi,  and  then  by 
Rabbi  Jehuda  Ben  Samuel  Aben  Tibbon ;  a 
Portuguese  translation  was  made  from  the 
Hebrew  by  Rabbi  Samuel  Ben  Isaac  Abaz,  at 
Amsterdam,  in  the  seventeenth  century.  As 
a  Hebrew  poet,  Rabbi-  Bechai  is  especially 
famed  for  a  poem  on  "  Self-examinationy ' 
translated  into  Italian  by  a  Jewish  lady, 
Deborah  AscareUi,  of  Rome,  and  by  Dr. 
Sachs,  of  Berlin,  into  German  verse,  together 
with  some  other  specimens  of  modem  Hebrew 
poetry. 


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HEBREW   POETRY   IK  SPAIN.  291 

Still  brighter  fame  as  a  poet  is  awarded  to 
Moses  Ben  Ezra,  who  is  also  equally  cele- 
brated as  a  learned  Talmudist,  and  a  pro^ 
fessor  of  Greek  philosophy.  Although,  like 
his  brother  poets,  he  excelled  in  sacred  song; 
he  also  tuned  his  lyre  as  an  inhabitant  of  the 
west,  and  sang  at  times  of  love,  but  more  often 
in  praise  of  the  beauties  of  nature.*  He  was 
a  cotemporary  of  the  celebrated  Rabbi  Je* 
hudah  Ben  Samuel  Hallevi,  who  bestowed 
due  meed  of  praise  upon  him.  and  some  other 
members  of  his  noble  and  learned  family^ 
We  shall  soon  speak  more  at  length  of  Hal- 
levi the  poet  '^par  ea^cellence"  but  we  must 
first  give  a  few  particulars  concerning  Rabbi 
Salomon  Gabirol,  who,  in  the  order  of  time, 
should  have  preceded  Moses  Ben  Ezra. 

Rabbi  Salomon  Ben  Jehudah  Gabirol  is 
unanimously  allowed  to  have  far  excelled  all 
the  other  Jewish  poets  of  the  tenth  and 
eleventh  centuries.  Bom  in  1031,  either  at 
Malaga  or  at  Saragossa,  where  he  afterwards 
redded,  his  life  was  as  short  as  his  talentd 
were  brilliant,  and  his  end  tragical.  His 
death  is  said  to  have  been  caused  by  the 
sanguinary  envy  of  an  Arabian  rival  in  song, 

*  Alexander  von  Humboldt,  in  his  ^^Kosmos,"  ii.,  119, 
has  praised  his  sublime  description  of  natural  scenery. 

o  2 


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292  fi£BB£W  POETRY    IN   8FA1K. 

and  the  legend  tells,  that  the  young  poet  was 
buried  by  his  murderer  under  a  fig-tree,  which 
produced  in  consequence  so  great  an  abund- 
ance of  fruit,  of  such  exquisite  flavour  as  to 
attract  the  attention  of  the  Caliph,  and  lead  to 
the  discovery  of  the  body,  and  a  detection  of 
the  crime  which  had  been  committed!  The 
poet  Gabirol  is  only  known  to  us  .by  his 
writings,  which  show  him  to  have  been  a  man 
of  deep  feeling,  great  poetical  talent,  and  ex- 
tensive learning.  His  first  work  reminds  us 
of  the  saying  of  a  great  poet  of  our  own  days : 
"  It  matters  little  to  the  true  poet,  if  it  be  the 
alphabet  or  the  Achilles  of  Grecian  story 
which  awakes  his  powers."  Gabirol,  in  his 
nineteenth  year,  wrote  a  Hebrew  Grammar  in 
verse — a  work  which  Aben  Ezra  has  since 
pronounced  worthy  of  the  highest  praise. 
The  following  ideas  taken  from  the  introduc- 
tion may  lead  us  to  form  some  estimate  of  the 
poetical  imagination  of  its  author.  In  this 
part  of  the  work,  the  author  complains  "  that 
the  study  of  the  sacred  tongue,  honourable 
above  all  others,  had  been  too  long  neglected, 
so  that  by  a  great  multitude  of  his  brethren 
tiie  words  of  the  prophets  were  no  longer 
understood."  At  this  thought,  the  conscious- 
ness of  his  own  youth  neither  could  nor  should 


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HEBREW   POETEY   IN   SPAIN.  293 

restrain  him,  A  voice  cried  within  him,  "  Gird 
thyself  for  the  work,  for  God  will  help  thee  I 
Say  not,  I  am  too  young;  the  crown  is  not 
exclusively  reserved  for  old  age.  He  will 
make  use  of  poetry  to  render  this  labour 
attractive  to  the  eyes,  like  a  garden  of  flowers ; 
for  his  hope  was  great  that  that  language  may 
again  be  studied  in  which  the  inhabitants  of 
heaven  sing  the  praises  of  Him  who  clothes 
himself  with  light  as  with  a  garment ; — this 
language,  formerly  spoken  upon  earth  by  all 
men,  before  the  foolish  ones  were  scattered, 
and  their  speech  confounded ;  —  this  lan- 
guage became  the  inheritance  of  God*s  people 
under  the  tyranny  of  Egypt; — in  this  lan- 
guage the  law  of  God  was  promulgated,  and 
the  prophets  brought  healing  to  the  afflicted 
nation.  He  would  they  were  jealous,  like 
Nehemiah  (xiii.  23 — 25),  for  the  purity  of 
the  language  of  Israel."  He  then  expresses 
his  indignation  that  the  mistress  should  have 
been  reduced  to  the  state  of  the  servant,  and 
the  lawful  wife  to  that  of  the  concubine. 

The  poetical  talents  of  Gabirol  were  exer- 
cised on  many  different  subjects;  hymns, 
elegies,  confessions  of  sin,  descriptions  of  the 
future.  In  all  these,  we  find  a  noble  and 
affecting  echo  of  the  poetry  of  his  ancestors. 


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294  HEBREW  POETRY   IN   SPAIN. 

The  Kether  Malchiit  (or,  royal  crown)  is 
looked  upon  as  his  masterpiece, — a  poem  which 
the  pious  Israelite  recites  during  the  night 
passed  in  watching  and  prayer  before  the 
great  Day  of  Atonement.  This  poem,  in 
honour  of  the  goodness  and  power  of  God, 
after  a  brilliant  introduction,  confeedns  first,  a 
description  of  the  universe,  rich  in  details, 
which  give  us  much  interesting  information 
on  the  ideas  held  by  the  Talmudists  concern* 
ing  the  laws  of  creation ;  then  follow  praises 
of  the  greatness  and  wisdom  of  God,  as  mani* 
fested  in  the  construction  of  the  human  body ; 
he  then  dwells,  with  equal  richness  of  Ian* 
guage  and  poetry,  on  the  nothingness  and 
misery  of  human  nature,  and  the  necessity 
for  humiliation  before  God  on  account  of  sin. 
The  whole  closes  with  a  prayer  for  the  tem* 
poral  and  eternal  preservation  of  Israel,  their 
restoration  to  their  country,  and  the  rebuild- 
ing of  their  sanctuary,  and  this  is  followed  by 
a  magnificent  doxology. 

The  history  of  Jewish  literature  during  the 
twelfth  century  is  adorned  with  the  names  of 
many  Hebrew  poets,  both  in  Spain  and  Africa. 
Rabbi  Aaron  Ben  Rabbi  Joshua  Alemani,  at 
Alexandria;  Rabbi  Salomon  Abu  Ajab  Ibn 
Almalam,  whose  verses,  in  the  words  of  Al 


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HEBEEW   PQETBY   IN    SPAIN.  295 

Charisi,  '^  made  the  dumb  to  sing,  and  caused 
light  to  strike  upon  the  eyes  of  the  blind ; " 
Babbi  Chalfon  Hallevi,  of  Damietta,  called 
in  Arabic  Abu  Said ;  Rabbi  Levi  Ben  Jacob 
Altabban,  with  his  brothers  at  Saragossa,  and 
many  besides.  All  these  poets  kept  up  an 
interchange  of  friendship  and  correspondence 
with  one  another,  and  with  him  who  was 
considered  by  all  to  have  surpassed  his  pre- 
decessors and  cotemporaries, — Rabbi  Judah 
Ben  Samuel  Hallevi.  Al  Charisi  has  ex- 
pressed his  feelings  on  this  subject  in  the 
following  language,  not,  however,  without 
considerable  exaggeration  in  the  choice  of  his 
figures : — 

'*The  poetry  of  Judah  the  Levite  is  like 
a  diadem  on  the  head  of  the  synagogue,  and 
a  necklace  of  pearls  around  its  neck ;  it  is  the 
pillar  of  the  temple  of  poetry ;  he  is  the  man 
armed  with  a  lance,  who  overthrows  all  the 
giants  of  the  art ;  his  songs  take  away  courage 
from  the  prudent :  he  has  exhausted  the  store- 
house, he  has  carried  off  precious  spoil ;  he  is 
gone  out  and  has  closed  the  door  after  him,  so 
that  none  may  enter.  All  the  poets  who 
follow  him  have  his  words  in  their  mouth — 
he  rends  the  heart,  he  takes  possession  of  it 
by  his  songs  of  supplication ;  his  lays  of  love 


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296  HEBREW   FOETRT   IN   SPAIN 

are  gentle  as  the  dew,  yet  fervent  as  the 
burning  coal.  In  his  letters  and  his  writings 
all  poetry  is  contained.*' 

Excepting  the  year  of  his  birth  (1105),  and 
its  locality  at  Castile,  we  have  no  records  of 
the  life  of  Judah  Hallevi,  and  no  details, 
beyond  a  few  interesting  notices  gathered 
from  his  own  works.  From  these  we  learn 
to  appreciate  him,  not  as  the  prince  of  poets 
only,  but  as  one  of  the  most  interesting 
characters  we  meet  with  in  the  history  of 
modem  Judaism.  The  master  feeling  which 
accompanied  him  through  life,  and  gave  a 
peculiar  turn  to  his  mental  efforts,  was  a  strong 
affection  for  the  spot  where  the  temple  of 
Jehovah  once  stood,  and  this  feeling  pervaded 
the  whole  of  his  poetry.  He  eventually 
undertook  a  jouniey  to  Palestine,  and,  ac- 
cording to  the  relations  of  his  biographers, 
he  reached  the  threshold  of  Jerusalem,  but 
died  before  entering  its  gates,  being  trampled 
down,  as  tradition  tells,  by  the  horse  of 
an  Arabian  Moslem  while  he  was  chanting 
an  elegy  on  the  misfortunes  of  Judah  and 
Jerusalem  before  one  of  the  gates  of  that  city. 
More  modem  biographers  have  classed  this 
tale  among  the  Jewish  legends  of  the  Middle 
Ages,  and  give  as  their  opinion  that  he  died 


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HEBREW  POETRY  IN  SPAIN.      297 

daring  a  stay  in  Egypt,  while  on  his  way  to 
Jerusalem.  It  is,  at  all  events,  certain  that 
he  never  entered  the  city,  the  object  of  his 
affections,  and  this  gives  a  still  more  touching 
interest  to  the  account  he  himself  gives  of  the 
emotions  of  his  heart,  from  the  time  he  formed 
a  resolution  to  accomplish  his  vow  of  pilgrim- 
age. He  expresses,  with  much  feeling,  the 
yearning  of  his  soul  towards  the  land  of  his 
fathers  in  the  following  lines  of  one  of  his 
poems: — 

^In  the  west  is  mj  bodj,  while  my  heart  is  in  the 

east. 
What  has  long  been  the  joy  of  my  hope,  now  becomes 

a  lengthened  torment. 
Ah,  shall  I  ever  obtain  what  my  soul  has  so  long 

desired  I 
I  who  live  among  Ishmael,  while  Edom  possesses 

Zion! 
What  is  Spain  to  me  with  her  blue  sky  and  her  bright 

fame? 
In  comparison  with  a  little  dust  of  that  temple  which 

is  trodden  under  foot  by  the  Gentiles." 

A  friend  of  Hallevi's,  also  a  poet,  tried,  by 
a  poetical  epistle,  to  dissuade  him  from  this 
perilous  enterprize.  He  answered  him  by  a 
poem,  in  which  he  complains  "  that  the  grace- 
ful verses  of  the  letter  he  had  received  con- 
cealed daggers  to  wound  him,  and  that  thorns 
o  3 


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298  HEBREW   POETRY   IN   SPAIN. 

were  hid  beneath  the  jBoftness  of  its  fine  ex- 
pressions." For  further  satisfaction,  he  refers 
him  to  those  of  their  fathers  who  had  journeyed 
in  that  country  which  had  received  the  imme* 
diate  revelation  of  God,  and  his  heralds  the 
prophets.  He  ends  by  exhorting  his  cool 
adviser  against  that  Greek  wisdom  which  had 
always  been  inimical  to  any  depth  of  religious 
feeling,  and  which  must  ever  continue  incom- 
patible with  the  foundations  of  Judaism. 

Other  poems  of  Hallevi  are  dated  after  the 
time  when  he  really  began  his  journey. 
When  at  sea,  he  called  to  mind,  with  affection, 
all  the  membfers  of  his  family — his  brothers, 
sisters,  daughters,  the  synagogue  of  his  country, 
and  the  place  he  had  filled  in  it ;  yet  still  the 
longing  desire  to  behold  the  land  of  the  altar 
and  of  the  ark  of  God  remained  uppermost 
in  his  mind.  "  If  he  can  but  accomplish  his 
vow,  the  sight  of  jackals  and  hyenas  would 
be  rather  welcome  than  terrible  to  him,  and 
the  roaring  of  the  lion  a  more  pleasing  music 
than  the  bleating  of  flocks."  His  last  poetry 
was  written  in  Egypt,  where  this  celebrated 
writer  received  an  honourable  and  hospitable 
welcome.  We  have  already  mentioned  his 
end.  His  writings,  besides  his  hymns,  many 
of  which  are  incorporated  in  the  Liturgy  of 


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HEBREW   FOETRT    IN    SPAIN.  299 

the  synagogues,  consist  of  elegies,  epitha* 
lamiums,  and  paraphrases  on  verses  of  the 
Psalms,  with  a  work  in  Arabic  prose,  which 
has  gained  great  celebrity.  This  book,  named 
**  Khusari,*'  is  an  apology  for  Judaism,  in  the 
form  of  an  imaginary  dialogue  between  a  king 
of  the  Chasars  and  an  Israelitish  Rabbi,  who 
supports  the  cause  of  the  Talmudists  against 
the  doctrines  of  the  Karaites  and  the  phi- 
losophy  of  the  Gentiles.  A  later  version  of 
this  work  was  made  in  1560,  by  T.  Buxtorf, 
the  son,  and  a  Spanish  translation  by  the 
Portuguese  Rabbi  Jacob  Abendana,  in  Eng- 
land (a.  d.  1663). 

Rabbi  Moses  Ben  Nachman,  bom  at  Girona, 
in  Catalonia  (1194),  and  also  famed  for  his 
poetry  and  learning,  was  more  successful  than 
Rabbi  Judah  in  the  attempt  which  he  also 
made  to  visit  Palestine,  where  he  ended  his 
days  in  1267.  In  a  letter  to  his  son,  he  gives 
an  account  of  the  feelings  excited  by  his  resi- 
dence  in  that  country.  "  My  son  Nachman," 
he  writes,  "  may  the  Lord  bless  you,  and  grant 
you  to  see  the  peace  of  Jerusalem,  and  your 
children's  children.  I  date  this  letter  from 
Jerusalem,  the  holy  city.  I  give  thanks  and 
praise  to  the  God  of  my  salvation,  that  I  was 
enabled  to    reach    this  place   in   safety    on 


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300      HEBBEW  POETRY  IN  SPAIN. 

the  ninth  of  the  month  EluL  I  have  r&i 
mained  here  till  now,  the  day  following  the 
preat  Day  of  Atonement.  My  plan  is,  to 
visit  Hebron,  to  cast  myself  upon  the  sepul- 
chres of  our  fathers,  and  there  to  prepare  my 
own  tomb.  What  can  I  say  of  this  country  ? 
Great  is  its  desolation  and  its  sterility.  The 
more  holy  the  spot,  the  more  completely  is  it 
abandoned.  Jerusalem  is  the  most  degraded 
of  all — Judea  more  so  than  Galilee.  Yet 
even  in  its  desolation  it  is  a  blessed  country^ 
The  city  contains  2,000  inhabitants,  300  of 
whom  are  Christians,  who  have  escaped  the 
sword  of  the  Sultan.  Since  the  invasion  of 
the  Tartars,  no  Jews  have  been  settled  here. 
Only  two  brothers,  dyers  by  trade,  are  Jews. 
At  their  house  we  assembled,  to  the  number  of 
ten,  and  celebrated  the  Sabbath  with  prayers. 
We  have  now  succeeded  in  procuring,  a  de- 
serted house,  with  marble  pillars  and  a  fine 
vaulted  roof,  and  have  transformed  it  into  a 
synagogue.  The  city  has,  properly  speaking, 
no  government,  and  he  that  wishes  may  take 
possession  of  the  parts  that  are  imoccupied. 
We  have  contributed  the  needful  expense  to 
ensure  possession  of  the  house  for  the  purpose 
I  mentioned.  We  have  also  procured  from 
Sichem  some  volumes  of  the  law,  which  had 


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HEBREW   POETEY   IN    SPAIN.  301 

been  concealed  there  at  the  time  of  the  Tartar 
invasion.  Thus,  we  shall  have  a  synagogue, 
and  shall  pray  here.  Men  and  women  flock 
from  all  parts  to  Jerusalem — from  Aleppo, 
Damascus,  and  all  parts  of  the  country,  to 
behold  the  sanctuary  and  to  weep.  May  He 
who  has  permitted  me  to  see  Jerusalem  in 
her  desolation,  grant  that  we  may  see  her 
restored,  rebuilt,  and  filled  with  the  glory  of 
the  Lord.  May  you,  my  son,  see  the  welfare 
of  Jerusalem,  and  be  witness  of  the  con- 
solation of  Zion!"  The  letter  is  ended  by 
remembrances  to  his  disciples,  and  especially 
to  his  nephew.  Rabbi  Mo^es  Ben  Salomo,  an 
elegy  of  whose  composition  had  been  recited 
by  Moses  Ben  Nachman  on  the  Mount  of 
Olives. 

Rabbi  Moses  Ben  Nachman  left  many  other 
writings  which  testify  that,  considering  the 
age  in  which  he  lived,  he  was  remarkable  as  a 
thinker,  expounder,  Talmudist,  and  especially 
as  a  student  of  the  Cabbala.  In  the  division 
of  the  synagogues  caused  by  the  writings  of 
Maimonides,  he  took  the  part  of  the  latter, 
probably  more  on  account  of  the  esteem  he 
felt  for  his  character,  than  from  any  great 
sympathy  with  his  opinions.  In  1263,  he 
held  a  public  conference  on  religion  with  Paul 


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302      HEBREW  FQETRT  IN  SFAIK. 

Christian,  said  by  some  to  have  been  a  con- 
verted Jew.  As  a  poet,  he  is  chiefly  iamed 
for  one  mi^nificent  hymn,  used  by  many 
of  the  synagogues  in  the  service  for  the  first 
day  of  the  year. 

The  study  of  Hebrew  poetry,  which  was 
carried  to  the  highest  degree  of  eminence  by 
Judah  HaUevi,  appears  to  have  perished  amid 
the  disputes  of  the  succeeding  century,  leav- 
ing fuller  scope  to  the  development  of  Jewish 
doctrines  and  traditions.  We  will  mention 
two  more  names,  virfaich  though  they  cannot 
take  rank  among  poets  of  the  first  order,  yet 
deserve  some  notice. 

One  of  these  is  Judah  Happenini  Ben 
Abraham,  called  Bednaschi,  from  Beziers,  the 
native  city  of  his  father.  He  first  saw  the 
light  at  Barcelona,  in  1250,  and  is  ranked' 
among  the  Hebrew  poets  of  that  time  as  being 
the  author  of  a  few  pieces,  which  are  more 
esteemed  for  the  ingenuity  and  studied  labour 
of  which  they  bear  the  marks,  than  for  any 
intrinsic  poetical  merit.  For  instance,  in  one 
of  these  poems,  every  word  begins  with  the 
letter  M.  He  has  a  better  right  to  the  title 
of  "Orator,"  given  him  by  his  brethren, 
while  Christian  writers  have  compared  him 
to  Seneca,  Lactantius,  and  Cicero.     He  owes 


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HEBREW  POETRY  IN    SPAIN*  303 

this  honour  to  his  work,  entitled  ^^  Bechinath 
Gnolam  "  (Examination  of  the  World),  a  dis- 
course,  or  letter,  concerning  the  vanity  of  all 
earthly  things,  and  the  seeking  of  the  king- 
dom of  God.  The  learned  Philip  Aquinas,*, 
an  Israelite  converted  to  Christianity  in  the 
seventeenth  century,  wrote  a  French  transla- 
tion of  it.  Great  praise  has  been  bestowed 
both  on  the  work  itself  and  the  way  in  which 
it  is  treated  by  its  French  translator,  as  well 
as  by  Buxtorf,t  and  other  competent  judges. 
Rabbi  Judah  Happenini,  who  was  a  great 
advocate  for  philosophical  studies,  vehemently 
opposed  the  sentence  of  excommunication 
pronounced  by  Rabbi  Salomon  Ben  Addereth. 
He  is  also  said  to  have  composed  a  work  of 
some  extent  on  the  game  of  chess,  under  the 
designation  of"  the  royal  delight." 

We  will  end  with  a  few  words  upon  one 
more  Jewish  poet  of  Spain, — Rabbi  Jehudah 

•  Philip  (formerly  Mordecai)  Aquinas  died  in  the  year 
1650y  at  Paris,  where  he  had  taught  Hebrew  and  trans- 
lated several  rabbinical  books  for  the  use  of  Christians.* 
His  son,  Louis  Henry,  was  also  a  great  Orientalist.  His 
grandson,  Anthony  Aquinas,  was  first  physician  to  Louis 
XIV. — See  Bayle's  Dictionary. 

f  Liber  insignia  tarn  quoad  res,  quam  quoad  verba,  ut 
eloquentissimus  habeatur,  quisquis  stylum  ejus  imitatur. 
— Buztorf. 


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304  HEBREW   POETRY   IN   8FAIN. 

Ben  Salomon  Ben  Alcophni,  more  generally 
known  as  Al  Chans!  (the  poet),  whom  we 
may  designate  as  the  Horace  of  that  schooL 
The  exact  dates  of  his  birth  and  death  are  not 
known,  but  there  is  no  doubt  that  he  belonged 
to  the  thirteenth  century.  Descended  from 
poetic  ancestors,  and,  like  Maimonides,  be^ 
longing  to  a  part  of  Spain  then  subject  to  the 
Mahometans,  the  Arabs  were  both  his  iur 
structors  and  his  models.  His  principal  work, 
the  ^^Tachmonite,''  is  not  exactly  a  translation 
or  imitation  of  their  Hariri,  though  written  in 
the  style  of  the  Arabian  poet.  The  "  Tach- 
monite"  contains  fifty  sections,  partly  prose 
and  partly  verse,  in  the  form  of  dialogues  and 
discourses  on  the  most  varied  subjects.  Al 
Charisi  wrote  an  interesting  history  of  the  art 
of  poetry  in  Spain,  with  talented  remarks  on 
the  style  and  writings  of  the  different  poets. 
With  the  opinion  he  passed  on  Judah  Hallevi, 
we  are  already  acquainted.  His  precepts 
of  the  art  of  versification  are  not  less  worthy 
of  note.  He  recommends,  in  the  first  place, 
purity  and  severity  of  diction,  not  overgrown 
with  a  mixture  of  strange  weeds,  for  which  he 
blames  the  Grecian  Jewish  poets;  regularity 
in  versification ;  unity  and  utility  in  the  choice 
of  a  subject,  and  the  manner  of  treating  it ; 


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HEBREW   POETRY   IN    SPAIN.  805 

lastly,  clearness  of  expression,  "which  is  not 
to  he  fonnd  among  the  French  Jews,  who 
need  a  commentator  to  explain  their  works." 
He  desires  the  poet  "  not  to  puhlish  immedi- 
ately to  the  world  the  finit  of  his  talents,  lest 
it  should  prove  ahortive;"  "neither  must  he 
give  all  he  has  to  the  puhlic,  hut  only  the 
best.**  Lastly,  he  must  be  popular  in  his 
language,  and  not  write  only  for  the  learned, 
like  Rabbi  Salomon,  who  pleases  only  the 
latter,  while  ordinary  readers  cannot  under- 
stand him." 

Al  Charisi  himself  has  obtained  the  reputa- 
tion of  an  excellent  poet,  principally  for  the 
poems  inserted  in  the  "  Tachmonite ; "  among 
others,  the  "dispute  between  the  sword  and 
the  pen."  He  also  practised  as  a  physician ; 
and,  like  others  of  his  countiymen,  was  a 
great  traveller. 

The  poetry  of  the  Jews  in  the  language  of 
their  forefathers  had  reached  its  height  and 
also  its  decline  in  Spain  by  the  end  of  the 
thirteenth  century.  It  is  true  that  this  study 
was  not  entirely  neglected  by  the  Jews  of 
the  Peninsula,  even  after  their  expulsion ;  but 
Hebrew  poets  of  note  arose  no  more  among 
the  Sephardim.  It  is  remarkable,  however, 
that  shortly  after  the  decline  of  this  great 


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306      SPANISH   POETRY  AMONG   THE   JEWS. 

celebrity,  poetical  talent  was  revived  among 
them,  though  in  a  lower  d^ree  of  excellence^ 
and  clothed  in  the  ancient  language  of  Gastile^ 
as  early  as  the  middle  of  the  fourteenth  cen- 
tury. Don  Santo  de  Carrion,  a  rabbi  con- 
verted to  Christianity,  was  distinguished  as 
one  of  the  most  famed  troubadours  of  the 
age.*  Many  of  his  poems  and  discourses  on 
religious  and  moral  subjects  remain  in  manu- 
script in  the  library  of  the  Escurial ;  among 
them  are  his  "  Counsels  to  the  King,"  written 
for  Don  Pedro  the  Cruel,  exhorting  him  to 
follow  the  example  of  his  father  and  live  a 
Christian  life.  He  has  given  an  account  of 
his  conversion,  and  of  his  faith  in  the  doctrines 
of  the  Church,  in  the  preface  and  introduction 
to  his  "  Doctrina  Christiana." 

At  the  beginning  of  the  fifteenth  century, 
and  in  the  reign  of  John  II.  of  Castile,  a  pas- 
sionate admirer  of  every  kind  of  chivalrous 
exercise  and  of  the  poetical  art,  with  which 
they  were  so  closely  connected,  Juan  Alonzo 
de  Buena,  secretary  to  that  King,  dedicated 
to  him  a  collection  of  the  songs,  poems,  and 
epigrams  of  the  troubadours,  both  ancient  and 
modem,  among  whom  were  reckoned  Juan 
Alonzo   himself  and  his   brother,  Francisco, 

*  Rodriques  de  Castro^  Biblioth.  Espag.  198—201. 


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SPANISH   POETRY   AMONG  THE   JEWS.      807 

both  Convevsos.  In  this  collection  of  f he 
ancient  poetry  of  Castile  there  are  poems 
written  by  Jews  by  religion  as  well  as  by 
birth,  one  of  whom,  named  Don  Moses,  was 
surgeon  to  King  Henry  III. 

In  later  centuries  we  shall  find  Spanish 
poetry  carried  to  some  degree  of  perfection  by 
the  exiles  of  the  Peninsula  at  Hamburgh,  and 
in  the  Netherlands ;  while  in  Spain  and  Por- 
tngal  it  was  still  cultivated  by  their  descend- 
ants, either  really  converted  to  Christianity 
or  concealed  under  its  outward  profession. 
Among  these  Jewish  poets  we  may  name 
Doctor  Miguel  de  Silveira,  who  wrote,  in  the 
seventeenth  century,  an  epic  poem  on  Judas 
Maccabeus,  in  the  style  of  Tasso  and  Camoens, 
The  completely  Christian  style,  however^  both 
of  this  and  other  smaller  poems  by  the  same 
author,  give  the  impression  that  he  may  have 
belonged  to  the  nation,  but  never  to  the 
religion,  of  the  Jews.  Duarte  Diaz,  of  Porto, 
who  lived  at  Antwerp,  in  the  sixteenth 
century,  a  descendant  of  the  ancient  Jewish 
family  of  Aboab,  and  Antonio  Henrico  Gomez 
in  the  seventeenth,  who  showed  great  poetical 
talent  both  in  Spanish  and  Portuguese,  were 
professors  of  Judaism.  The  latter  was,  in 
France,  made  a  knight  of  the  order  of  Saint 


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808  CONVERTS   TO   CHEISTIANITY 

Michael,  and  became  counsellor  to  Louis  XIV., 
but  he  afterwards  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
Inquisition  in  Spain,  and  seems  to  have  been 
condemned  to  the  flames  for  his  Judaism, 
The  same  fate  is  said  to  have  befallen  Antonio 
de  Sylva,  one  of  the  most  ancient  dramatic 
poets  of  the  Peninsula. 

The  details  we  have  hitherto  given  concern- 
ing the  social  position  of  the  Jews  in  the 
Peninsula,  and  their  advancement  in  science, 
may  have  afforded  some  pleasure  to  the  Chris- 
tian who  loves  Israel  for  their  fathers'  sakes, 
yet  there  is  a  mixture  of  bitterness  in  the 
thought,  that  these  gifts,  these  talents,  and 
these  privileges,  were  enjoyed  not  only  apart 
from  any  faitii  in  their  true  Messiah,  but  even 
in  opposition  to  that  faith.  Their  history  in 
Spain  happily  offers  some  far  brighter  pages. 
It  is  worthy  of  note,  that,  while  no  country  in 
the  world  used  such  violent  and  tyrannical 
measures  to  bring  the  Jews  over  to  Christi- 
anity, neither  did  any  other  produce  so  many 
bright  examples  of  sincere  and  undoubted 
conversion;  no  country  has  yet  witnessed  so 
numerous  a  body  of  devoted  Christian  Israel- 
ites !  Whatever  may  have  been  the  cause  of 
this  effect,  and  whether  perhaps  in  part  owing^ 
to  the  greater  equality  of  rank,  and  more  fre- 


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IN   SPAIN.  309 

quent  intercourse  between  the  members  of  the 
Church  and  those  of  the  synagogue  in  Spain, 
it  is  certain  that  in  no  other  country,  either 
during  the  middle  ages  or  even  in  our  own 
time,  have  the  words  of  the  apostle  (Rom.  xi. 
6)  been  so  fully  realized;  in  the  midst  of 
Israel's  rejection  and  hardness  of  heart  there 
was  always  ^^  a  remnant  according  to  the  elec- 
tion of  grace." 

Among  the  sons  of  Israel  who  have  con- 
fessed the  Christian  faith  in  Spain,  and  fought 
the  good  fight,  either  in  the  ranks  of  the 
Church  or  on  the  field  of  theology,  one  of  the 
earliest  examples  is  Julian,  Bishop  of  Toledo, 
who  flourished  in  the  latter  part  of  the  seventh 
century,  while  the  country  was  still  under  the 
dominion  of  the  Goths,  before  the  Saracen 
invasion.*  Great  praise  is  awarded  to  him  by 
the  historians  of  that  period,  especially  for  his 
writings  and  labours  as  a  bishop.  He  took  part 
in  the  great  theological  disputes  of  his  time 
concerning  the  twofold  will  of  Christ,  a  ques- 
tion on   which  this  bishop,    or    rather    the 

*  *^£rat  JulianttB  eraditionis  laade  eft  setate  celebrig, 
ut  €pu8  libri  testantur.  Fait  ex  Judaaorum  sanguine  prog- 
natua,  Eagenii  terdi  disdpulus,  Qoirini  Toletani  Pnesulia 
eucceflflor,  ingenio  fadli,  copioso^  soavi,  probitatis  opinione 
singnlari."— Mariana,  YL  18. 


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310  CONVERTS   TO   CHRISTIANITY 

Council  of  Toledo  at  which  he  presided,  ex* 
pressed  themselves  quite  independently  of  the 
Bishop  of  Rome.*  He  has  left,  as  the  fruit 
of  his  labours,  several  works ;  a  book  written 
against  the  errors  of  Judaism,  besides  commen- 
taries, sermons,  hymns,  and  sacred  poetry, 
with  a  history  of  the  wars  of  King  Wamba. 
The  life  and  praises  of  Julian  were  written  by 
Bishop  Telisc,  his  successor  in  the  see  of 
Toledo. 

Another  Christian  Israelite,  of  less  elevated 
rank  in  the  Church,  Alvaras  Faulus,  of  Cor* 
dova,  flourished  in  the  middle  of  the  ninth 
century,  and  is  principally  known  to  us  by  his 
letter  to  a  certain  Eleazar,  who  had  passed 
from  Gentile  idolatry  to  Judaism.  When 
taking  up  the  defence  of  the  Christian  faith, 
he  confesses  at  once  his  own  Jewish  origin, 
and  his  belief  that  Messiah  was  already  come, 
and  then  continues : — "  Which  of  us  has  the 
most  right  to  the  name  of  Jew;  you,  who 
have  passed  from  the  worship  of  idols  to  the 
knowledge  of  one  God, — or  I,  who  am  an 
Israelite  both  by  birth  and  faith  1  Yet  I  no 
longer  call  myself  a  Jew,  because  that  new 

*  <<  Nobis  (Juliani  disputatio)  aliquanto  liberior  visa 
est,  quatn  ut  Juliani  modestiam  erga  Bomanam  pontificem 
summae  EcdesisB  rectorem,  deceret." 


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IN   SPAIN.  311 

name  is  given  to  me  which  the  mouth  of  the 
Lord  hath  named !  Abraham  is  in  truth  my 
father,  but  not  only  because  my  ancestors  pro- 
ceed from  him.  Those  who  have  expected 
Messiah  should  come,  but  who  also  receive 
him  because  he  is  already  come,  are  more 
truly  Israelites  than  those  who,  after  long 
waiting  for  him,  rejected  him  when  he  came, 
and  yet  cease  not  to  expect  his  coming."  ♦ 

Babbi  Samuel  Jehudi,  of  Fez,  in  Morocco, 
affords  another  instance  of  sincere  conversion 
to  the  Christian  faith.  An  interesting  letter 
of  his  remains  to  us,  written  originally  in 
Arabic,  and  addressed  to  a  Rabbi  of  the  same 
country,  named  Dr.  Isaac.  This  letter,  of 
which  a  Latin  version,  made  by  the  Dominican 
Alfonso  de  Buen  Hombre,  in  1329,  has  been 
repeatedly  published,  contains  an  ample  refu- 
tation of  Jewish  objections  to  the  Christian 
Ceiith,  written  in  accordance  with  the  views  of 
that  period.  A  Spanish  translation  of  this 
letter  still  remains  in  manuscript  in  the  library 
of  the  Escurial.  Baptized  in  Spain  soon  after 
the  taking  of  Toledo  -by  Alfonso  VI.,  Babbi 
Samuel  appears  to  have  returned  to  Morocco, 
and  there  to  have  held  a  conference  on  religion 
with  a  learned  Mahomedan,  of  which  his  ac* 
*  Nic  Antonio^  Bib.  Vet  Hisp.  vi.  8. 


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312  CONVERTS   TO   CHRISTIANITY 

count,  still  in  manuscript,  is  also  to  be  found 
in  the  library  of  the  Escurial.* 

To  the  eleventh  century  also  belongs^  the 
birth  of  another  Christian  Israelite,  who  was 
afterwards  distinguished  for  the  testimony  he 
bore  to  the  truth  and  power  of  the  Gospel. 
Sabbi  Moses,  of  Huesca,  in  Arragon,  was  bom 
in  the  year  1062,  and  baptized  in  the  year 
1106,  King  Alphonso  I.  standing  as  his 
sponsor,  after  whom  and  his  brother  and  pre* 
decessor  he  was  named,  Pedro  Alphonso.  He 
afterwards  wrote  a  defence  of  Christianity  and 
a  refutation  of  Jewish  incredulity,  in  the  form 
of  a  dialogue  between  Moses  and  Pedro 
Alphonso;  this  work  is  spoken  of  in  high 
terms,  and  has  since  been  of  great  use  in 
Spain.  We  have  also  by  him  a  ^*  Disciplina 
Clericalis,"  under  the  title  of  "  Proverbs,"  in 
which  he  seems  to  have  borrowed  from  the 
Arabic  writers,  especially  the  tales  and  fables 
of  Pilpay. 

Another  learned  and  distinguished  Israelite 
who  received  the  Christian  faith  and  made 
known  in  his  writings  the  ground  of  his  belief, 
was  Babbi  Abner,  the  physician,  in  the  early 
part  of  the  fourteenth  century.  While  yet  in 
communion  with  the  synagogue,  he  wrote  an 
*  Nic  Antonio,  yii.  1. 


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IN    SPAIN.  313 

explanation  of  Aben  Ezra's  treatise  on  the 
Ten  Commandments.  When  converted  to  the 
Christian  faith,  he  wrote  a  refutation  of 
Kimchi's  work  against  Christianity,  known 
by  the  same  title,  "  the  Wars  of  the  Lord." 
At  the  request  of  the  Infanta  Blanca,  abbess 
of  the  Convent  of  Las  Huelgas,  at  Burgos,  he 
translated  the  work  into  Spanish.  As  a 
Christian,  he  is  known  by  the  name  of 
Alphonso  of  Burgos,  his  native,  city,  or  of 
Valladolid,  where,  until  his  death,  in  1346, 
he  filled  the  post  of  sacristan  to  the  Cathe- 
dral.* 

Among  the  Jewish  conversions  recorded  in 
the  history  of  Spain,  none  are  more  worthy 
of  interest  than  that  of  Babbi  Salomon  Levi, 
of  Burgos,  in  the  latter  part  of  the  fourteenth 
century.     It  is  the  more  remarkable,  because 

*  Between  Pedro  Alphonso  and  Alphonso  of  Valla- 
dolid we  might  insert  Petrus  Julianus,  surnamed  the 
Spaniard,  if  we  could  be  quite  certain  that  he  was  reallj 
a  Jew  by  birth  or  descent,  of  which,  however,  1  only 
find  mention  made  by  one  authority.  This  learned  man 
first  practised  as  a  physician,  then  became  Archbishop  of 
Braga,  and  finally  Pope,  under  the  name  of  John  XXT. . 
This  Pope  is  known  to  have  written  several  works  on 
medicine.  His  reputation  has  been  tarnished  by  the 
ill-will  of  the  monkish  orders,  to  whom  he  did  not  show 
much  JEtvour. 


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314        PAUL   OF   BUBGOS   AND   HIS   SONS. 

the  blessing  of  his  conversion  seems  to  have 
rested  upon  his  descendants  for  many  genera- 
tions.    The  Babbi  we  have  just  mentioned, 
of  the  tribe  of  Levi,  as  his  name,  which  was 
that  of  the  whole  family,  denotes,  was,  until 
his  fortieth  year,  a  teacher  among  the  Jews, 
eminent  alike  for  his  birth  and  learning.     At 
that  age  he  became  acquainted  with  the  writ- 
ings of  Thomas  Aquinas,  whose  treatise  ^'  De 
Legibus"  made  so  deep  an  impression  upon 
his  mind  that  his  national  prejudices  against 
Christianity  fell  to  the  ground,  and  he  was 
enlightened  by  that  Spirit  from  above  which 
brought  life  and  salvation  to  his  soul.     In  the 
year    1392    he    received  Christian   baptism, 
together  with  his  four  sons,  then  young  chil- 
dren, but  who  all,  in  after-life,  inherited  their 
father's  high  character  and  great  celebrity. 
His  wife  was  already  dead,  but  his  mother  and 
his  brothers  followed  his  example,  by  making 
public  confession  of  their  faith  in  the  Savi- 
our.*   From  that  moment,  he  devoted  himself 
as  assiduously  to  the  study  of  Christian  theo- 
logy as  he  had  before  done  to  that  of  the 

*  From  that  time  he  bore  the  name  of  Paul,  with  the 
appellatioDS  of  Santa  Maria^  in  honour  of  the  Yii^  ;  of 
Burgos,  after  his  native  citj ;  and  of  Carthagena,  his 
first  bishopric. 


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PAUL   OF   BURGOS   AND   HtS   SONS.        815 

Jews.  He  obtained  the  degree  of  Doctor  of 
Divinity  at  Paris,  and  preached  at  Avignon, 
to  a  very  numerous  audience,  in  the  presence 
of  Peter  de  Luna,  afterwards  Benedict  XIII., 
then  one  of  the  candidates  for  the  Papacy. 
He  was  made  Archdeacon  of  Burgos,  Bishop 
of  Carthagena,  and  lastly  Bishop  of  Burgos,  a 
dignity  to  which  his  son  succeeded  during  his 
father's  lifetime.  While  he  was  yet  Bishop 
of  Carthagena,  his  extraordinary  talents,  ex- 
tensive knowledge,  and  excellent  judgment  in 
matters  of  state  completely  gained  the  con- 
fidence of  King  Henry  III.,  the  Invalid.  This 
King,  who  died  young,  appointed  him  by  will 
to  the  office  of  High  Chancellor,  after  the 
death  of  Don  Pedro  Lopes  de  Ayala,  and 
entrusted  to  him  the  education  of  his  son  and 
successor,  John  II.  Some  time  after  the 
in&nt  Ferdinand,  uncle  and  guardian  to  the 
young  king,  being  called  to  the  throne  of 
Arragon,  before  his  departure  appointed  the 
Bishop  of  Burgos  a  member  of  the  Council 
of  Regency.  He  remained  in  the  service  of 
King  John  till  the  time  of  his  death,  in  1435, 
filling  the  same  situation  to  which  he  had 
been  appointed  by  King  Henry. 

All  Spanish  historians  and  chroniclers  are 
p  2 


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316        PAUL   OF   BURGOS   AND   HIS   SONS. 

unanimous  in  their  praises  of  this  descendant 
of  the  house  of  Israel,  both  as  a  bishop  and 
statesman.  They  generally  style  him  the 
excellent, — "  el  varon  excellente,"  and  speak 
of  him  ^^  as  a  man  able  to  govern  his  tongue, 
and  in  all  ways  well  calculated  to  guide  and 
advise  kings."  *  Yet  the  cares  of  state  never 
diminished  his  zeal,  either  for  the  duties  of 
his  pastoral  office,  or  for  that  study  of  Holy 
Scripture,  which  had  ever  been  the  very  life 
of  his  soul.  His  pastoral  labours  only  ended 
with  his  life,  for  he  was  taken  with  the  illness 
of  which  he  died,  in  his  eighty-third  year,  in 
a  journey  he  made  to  visit  the  different 
churches  of  his  diocese,  though  the  bishopric 
itself  had  already  passed  to  his  son,  Alphonso. 
His  indefatigable  activity  as  a  student  and 
expounder  of  Scripture  is  attested  by  his 
writings,  of  which  two  in  particular  deserve 
our  notice;  his  '^Additions  to  the  FostiUs 
of  Nicholas  de  Lyra,"  f  and  his  "  Scrutinium 

*  The  noble  kniglit  and  writer,  Heman  Perez  de  One- 
man,  thus  makes  mention  of  him  in  his  **  Generaciones  de 
los  excelentes  Bejes  de  Espana." 

f  The  value  of  these  additions  is  defended  against  the 
Franciscan  Monk,  Doring,  by  Richard  Simon  in  his 
Historia  Critica  Vet.  Test,  III.  11. 


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/* 


PAUL  OF   BURGOS   AND   HIS   SONS.         317 

Scripturarum."  The  latter  is  of  the  latest 
date,  and  contains,  in  the  form  of  a  dialogue 
between  Paul  and  Saul,  a  refutation  of  Jewish 
objections  to  the  Christian  faith. 

The  introduction,  in  which  the  venerable 
Bishop  dedicates  his  work  on  the  whole  Bible, 
then  completed,  to  his  son,  Don  Alphonso  of 
Garthagena,  at  that  time  Archdeacon  of  Com- 
postella,  will  afford  us,  in  his  own  words,  a 
better  insight  into  his  character  and  private 
feelings,  than  any  account  written  by  another. 
He  thus  writes:  "What  would  you  most 
wish,  my  dearly  beloved  son,  that  I  should 
give  you  whilst  I  am  alive,  or  leave  as  a  legacy 
to  you  at  my  death  \  What  could  be  better, 
than  to  add  to  the  knowledge  you  already 
possess  of  Holy  Scripture,  which  will 
strengthen  your  feet  in  the  path  of  a  well- 
directed  zeal  for  Christian  truth?  It  is  this 
which  I  bear  in  my  heart,  of  which  I  make 
confession  with  my  lips,  and  concerning  which 
I  understand  the  words  of  the  prophet:  *  The 
father  shall  teach  his  children  thy  truth.' 
(Isa.  xxxviii.  19.) 

"  I  was  not  myself  thus  taught  in  the  days 
of  my  youth,  but  was  brought  up  in  Jewish 
blindness  and  incredulity;  while  learning 
Holy  Scripture  from  unsanctified  teachers,  I 


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818        PAUL  OF   BURGOS   AND   HIS   SONS. 

received  erroneous  opinions  from  erring  meir, 
who  cloud  the  pure  letter  of  Scripture  by 
impure  inventions,  as  such  teachers  have  been 
wont  to  do.  But  when  it  pleased  Him  whose 
mercies  are  infinite,  to  call  me  from  darkness 
to  light,  and  from  the  depth  of  the  pit  to  the 
open  air  of  heaven,  the  scales  seemed  as  it 
were  to  fall  from  the  eyes  of  my  understanding, 
and  I  began  to  read  Holy  Scripture  with  my 
mind  in  part  released  from  the  bonds  of  pre- 
judice and  unbelief.  I  began  to  seek  for 
truth,  no  longer  trusting  to  the  power  of  my 
own  intellect,  but  with  a  humbled  spirit,  pray* 
ing  to  God  from  the  heart  to  make  known  to 
me  what  might  be  for  the  salvation  of  my 
soul.  Day  and  night  I  sought  help  from 
Him,  and  thus  it  came  to  pass  that  my  love 
for  the  Christian  faith  so  much  increased, 
that  at  length  I  was  able  openly  to  confess  the 
belief  which  my  heart  had  already  received. 
Having  then  attained  the  age  at  which  you 
now  are,  my  son,  I  received  the  sacrament 
of  Baptism,  and  was  sprinkled  with  the  holy 
water  of  the  Church,  receiving,  at  the  same 
time,  the  name  of  Paul.  You,  my  dear  son, 
were  then  in  the  innocence  of  childhood,  and 
received  this  purification  at  that  tender  age, 
while  yet  unsullied  with  the   sins  of  riper 


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PAUL   OF   BUBOOS   AND   HIS   SONS.        319 

years.     You  were  baptized  by  the  name  of 
Alphonso  before  you  could  say  your  letters ! 

"  Afterwards,  as  time  passed  on,  I  devoted 
myself  yet  more  to  the  study  of  Holy  Scrip- 
ture, reading  both  the  Testaments,  hearing 
the  words  of  living  teachers,  and  consulting 
the  writings  of  holy  men,  our  predecessors ; 
thus  I,  who  was  formerly  a  teacher  of  error, 
am  become,  by  the  grace  of  God,  a  learner  of 
the  truth,  and  have  continued  so  to  the  great 
age  I  have  now  attained.  I  can  say  in  truth 
that  amid  the  pressure  of  worldly  business, 
and  the  cares  of  my  bishopric,  which  have 
occupied  much  of  my  time,  there  is  no  con- 
solation to  be  compared  to  that  I  have  found 
in  the  contemplation  of  the  Eternal  God  by 
the  study  of  his  holy  and  spotless  Word. 

"  I  have  also  enjoyed  what  the  world  calls 
prosperity.  In  my  utter  unworthiness,  God 
has  raised  me  to  high  honours  in  his  Church. 
Called  first  to  the  Bishopric  of  Carthagena, 
then  raised  to  that  of  Burgos,  I  have  been,  so 
to  speak,  gifted  with  the  choicest  portions  in 
the  Church  of  God.  To  these  have  been  also 
added  other  temporal  advantages.  With 
King  Henry  III.,  of  glorious  memory,  and 
with  his  illustrious  son,  our  present  monarch, 
I  have  been  on  terms  of  familiar  intercourse 


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820        PAUL   OF   BURGOS   AND    HIS   SONS. 

whUe  holding  the  office  of  Chancellor.  How 
the  goodness  of  God  has  also  been  manifest  in 
his  dealings  with  you  and  your  elder  brother, 
I  need  not  recal  to  you.  One  circumstance, 
however,  I  cannot  pass  over  in  silence, — ^ihat 
to  us,  the  descendants  of  Levi,  have  been  ful- 
filled the  promises  written  so  many  hundred 
years  ago :  *  Wherefore  there  shall  not  be  for 
the  Levite  a  portion  or  inheritance  among  his 
brethren ;  the  Lord  himself  is  his  inheritance, 
as  the  Lord  thy  God  hath  said  to  him." 
(Deut  X.  9.)  Truly  God  himself  is  our  in- 
heritance !  Christ  is  our  portion !  who  has  said 
of  old  time,  that  he  would  cleanse  the  sons 
of  Levi  and  purify  them,  and  they  shall  be 
the  Lord's,  to  present  an  offering  in  righte- 
ousness. He  now  allows  us  to  present  this 
offering,  which  he  vnH  not  only  look  upon, 
but  accept  at  our  hands.  It  is  not  without 
a  purpose  that  I  have  thus  related  to  you  the 
experience  of  my  past  life.  It  is  useful  and 
necessary  you  should  know  all  the  mercies  of 
my  God  towards  me,  and  a  true  and  sincere 
memorial  of  them  cannot  be  taxed  with  pride. 
To  you,  in  particular,  I  address  these  recollec- 
tions, that  what  you  have  not  seen  with  your 
eyes  may  yet  be  engraven  on  your  memory  as 
coming  from  the  lips  of  your  father,  that  in 


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PAUL  OF   BURQOS   AND    HIS   SONS.        321 

3rour  turn  you  may  tell  to  those  who  are 
younger  than  you,  and  they  to  their  descend- 
ants, not  to  forget  the  works  of  the  Lord,  nor 
cease  fix>m  the  study  of  his  holy  Word." 

After  giving  some  further  explanation  of 
the  nature  and  use  of  the  Fostills  of  Lyra,  and 
his  own  additions  to  the  work,  he  concludes 
his  introduction  with  these  words :  ^*  This,  my 
dearly  heloved  son,  is  my  testament  to  you, 
and  let  it  also  be  your  inheritance  that  the 
law  of  the  Lord  may  be  your  delight,  and  that 
you  may  meditate  day  and  night  on  his  Word. 
This  meditation  will  become  more  pleasant 
and  delightful  to  you  by  reading  such  works. 
Accept,  then,  your  father *s  gift,  offered  with 
a  father's  tenderness  and  joy.  And  now  it  is 
enough.  Having  asked  help  of  Almighty 
God,  from  whom,  and  in  whom  alone,  is  all 
wisdom,  and  having  committed  the  work  to 
him  with  humble  prayer,  let  us  lay  our  hand 
to  the  plough." 

The  other  work  of  the  Bishop  of  Burgos, 
entitled  "  Examination  of  the  Scriptures,"  is 
less  extensive  in  compass,  but  equally  in- 
teresting. He  continued  to  labour  at  it  in 
his  old  age,  and  had  the  satisfaction  of  finish- 
ing it  a  little  before  his  death.  We  cannot 
here  admit  quotations  from  this  work,  chiefly 
p  3 


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822        PAUL  OF   BURGOS   AND   HIS   SOKS. 

intended  to  bring  conviction  to  his  former 
coreligionists,  and  for  that  purpose  filled  with 
striking  passages  in  support  of  the  Christian 
faith,  quoted  from  rabbinical  writers,  giving 
their  views  of  the  person,  the  distinguishing 
characteristics,  and  the  promised  kingdom  of 
the  Messiah.  He  also  expresses,  very  clearly, 
his  own  views  concerning  the  future  restora* 
tion  of  Israel,  taken  from  the  Prophecies,  an 
expectation  which  has  never  been  quite  lost 
sight  of  in  the  Romish  Church.  "  As  for  the 
remnant  of  Israel,"  he  says,  ^^  which  shall 
remain  at  the  coming  of  Christ,  we  firmly 
believe  that  when  the  delusion  of  Antichrist 
has  been  made  manifest,  they  will  turn  in 
truth  to  the  Messiah,  and  for  his  sake  endure 
much  persecution,  continuing  to  the  end  sted- 
fast  in  the  faith.  This  is  what  was  written 
by  the  apostle  in  Romans  xi.:  ^All  Israel 
shall  be  saved ; '  and  by  the  Prophet  Hosea  : 
^  The  children  of  Israel  shall  abide  many  days 
without  king,  and  without  prince,  and  without 
sacrifice,  and  without  statute,  and  without 
ephod  or  teraphim.  After  which  the  children 
of  Israel  shall  be  converted  and  seek  the  Lord 
their  God  and  David  their  king ; '  or,  as  the 
Chaldee  paraphrase  expresses  it,  'And  they 
shall  obey  Messiah  the  son  of  David,  their 


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PAUL   OF  BURGOS   AND   HIS   SONS.        323 

king.'    Thus  at  last  shall  the  whole  oation  of 
Israel  be  brought  to  the  faith  in  Christ." 

The  four  sons  of  Paul  of  Burgos,  bom 
before  his  baptism  and  ordination,  each  in- 
herited a  share  of  their  father's  celebrity  and 
high  character.  They  are  known  in  the 
history  of  the  kingdoms  of  Spain  by  the  names 
of  Don  Alphonso  de  Garthagena,  Don  Gonzalo 
de  Santa  Maria,  Alvar  Garcia  de  Santa  Maria, 
and  Pedro  de  Carthagena. 

Don  Alphonso  was  for  many  years  Arch- 
deacon of  Compostella,  and  being  equally  dis- 
tinguished as  a  statesman  and  pastor,  he  was 
afterwards  made  Bishop  of  Burgos,  in  the  room 
of  his  father.  He  took  his  seat  at  the  Council 
of  Basle,  in  1431,  as  a  representative  of  Castile, 
and  was  treated  with  high  honour,  on  account 
of  his  great  talents  and  distinguished  ex- 
cellence. jEneas  Sylvius,  afterwards  Pope 
Pius  II.,  called  him  in  his  memoirs,  ''an 
ornament  to  the  Prelacy."  Pope  Eugenius  IV., 
learning  that  the  Bishop  of  Burgos  was  about 
to  visit  Rome,  declared  in  ftiU  conclave  "that 
in  presence  of  such  a  man  he  felt  ashamed 
to  be  seated  in  Peter's  chair."  Spanish 
historians  unanimously  agree  in  representing 
the  son  as  a  worthy  representative  of  his 
excellent  father.     He  is  also  known  to  pos- 


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324        PAUL  OF   BUROOS   AND   HIS   SONS. 

terity  by  his  writings,  some  of  which  have 
been  published,  while  some  are  said  still  to 
remain  in  manuscript  in  the  Chapel  of  Bui^s, 
where  he  was  buried.  Those  which  have  seen 
the  light  may  by  their  titles  give  some  idea  of 
the  bent  of  his  studies,  and  the  variety  of 
knowledge  which  he  attained.  They  are, — "A 
Chronicle  of  the  Kings  of  Spain ;  "  a  treatise 
of  Christian  morality,  entitled  "  Instruction  for 
Knights,  and  Memorials  of  Virtue,"  written 
both  in  Latin  and  Spanish,  and  dedicated  to 
Prince  Edward,  afterwards  King  of  Portugal ; 
'^  Juridical  Memoirs  on  the  right  of  the 
Kings  of  Castile  to  the  Canary  Islands ;  *' 
translations  into  Spanish  of  some  books  of 
Seneca  and  Cicero;  translations  from  the 
Arabic ;  a  Commentary  on  the  26th  Psalm ; 
and  a  Homily  on  Prayer,  in  reply  to  a  letter 
on  that  subject  addressed  to  him  by  the  noble 
and  Christian  knight,  Heman  Perez  de 
Guzman,  an  intimate  friend  of  the  venerable 
Bishop,  whom  he  loved  as  a  father,  and  at 
whose  death,  in  1456,  he  expressed  his  grief  in 
some  stanzas  full  of  feeling  and  poetry. 

Don  Gonzalo  de  Santa  Maria  also  rose  to 
distinction  in  the  Church.  He  was  deputed 
from  Arragon  to  the  Council  of  Constance  in 
1416;   was  made  Bishop  of  Plaoentia,  and 


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PAUL   OF   BUaOOS   AND   HIS   SONS.        325 

after^vards  of  Siguenza,  which  dignity  he  held 
till  his  death,  in  1448.  He  was  distinguished, 
like  his  brother,  for  his  talents  and  piety. 

The  third  brother,  Alvar  de  Santa  Maria, 
has  become  very  generally  known  by  his  his- 
torical  writings.  He  was  first  secretary  to  the 
young  King  of  Castile,  John  II.,  but  after- 
wards left  him  to  accompany  his  uncle,  Don 
Ferdinand,  when  called  to  the  throne  of 
Arragon,  where  he  continued  high  in  the 
favour  of  that  excellent  monarch.  He  wrote 
the  '*  Chronicles  of  John  II.,  to  the  year 
1420,"  a  work  which  was  afterwards  continued 
by  Juan  de  Menia,  and  ended  by  the  knight 
Perez  de  Guzman. 

Until  near  the  close  of  the  eighteenth 
century,  the  family  of  the  excellent  Bishop  of 
Burgos  still  preserved  in  Spain  the  rank  and 
high  esteem  which  their  ancestors  formerly 
obtained.  The  family  was  perpetuated  by  the 
descendants  of  the  fourth  son,  many  of  whom 
intermarried  with  nobility  of  high  rank 
in  the  country.  Pedro  de  Carthagena  dis- 
tinguished himself  as  a  knight  and  warrior. 
While  a  member  of  the  municipality  of  Burgos, 
he  had  more  than  once  the  honour  of  enter- 
taining royal  guests  in  his  magnificent  abode, 
especially  the  Infanta  Dona  Blanca,  of  Arragon, 


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326        PAUL   OF   BURGOS   AND    HI8   SONS. 

on  her  marriage  with  the  heir  of  Castile,  after- 
wards Henry  IV.  In  the  chronicles  of  John 
II.  he  is  first  mentioned  on  the  occasion  of 
a  tonmament,  held  in  presence  of  the  King,  at 
which  he  gained  the  prize,  in  jonsting  with  the 
most  celebrated  knights  of  the  day.  He  is 
mentioned  afterwards  among  the  valorous 
knights  who  distinguished  themselves  at  the 
battle  of  Granada,  1431,  under  the  command 
of  the  Count  de  Haro.*  A  son  of  Pedro  of 
Carthagena,  named  Alvar,  after  his  uncle,  was, 
like  his  &ther,  a  valiant  warrior.  He  lost  his 
life  in  one  of  the  numerous  civil  wars,  caused 
by  the  dissensions  of  the  nobles  during  the 
turbulent  reign  of  Henry  IV.  The  Cartha- 
genas  were  then  taking  the  part  of  the  Ve« 
lascos.  Counts  of  Haro,  their  ancient  allies, 
against  the  Manricos,  Counts  of  Trevino.f 

When  Rabbi  Salomon,  afterwards  Bishop 
Paul  of  Burgos,  hadembracedand  waspreaching 
the  Christian  faith  in  Spain,  one  of  his  former 
coreligionists.  Rabbi  Joshua  de  Lorca,  in 
Mercia,  took  pen  in  hand  to  oppose  his  views. 
But  soon  this  zealous  enemy  of  the  Gospel  be- 

*  Cronica  del  Rey  Don  Juan  el  S^undo.  (Pampeluna, 
1590.)  Anno  xxv.  cap.  48,  &c 

f  Cronica  del  Rey  Enrique  el  Quarto  por  su  Capellan 
y  Cronista  Diego  Enriques  del  Castillo.     Cap.  151. 


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DB.  JEROME   OF   SANTA   FE,   ETC.  327 

came  himself  an  ardent  confessor  of  the  truth, 
according  to  the  measure  of  light  enjoyed  hy 
the  Church  in  Spain.  Eabhi  Joshua,  who  at 
his  baptism  took  the  name  of  Jerome  of  Santa 
F^,  failed  not  to  declare  openly  the  reason 
which  had  given  rise  to  this  change  in  his 
religious  opinions,  by  publishing  two  ^^  Tracts 
against  the  Jews/'* 

The  publication  of  this  controversy  was 
partly  called  forth  by  an  event  of  some  con* 
sequence  in  the  history  of  the  respective  re- 
lations of  the  Jews  and  Christians  in  the 
Peninsula.  I  mean  the  celebrated  conference 
between  Jewish  and  Christian  theologians,  held 
in  the  years  1413-14,  in  the  city  of  Tortosa, 
in  Arragon.  The  conference  was  proposed 
and  the  assembly  convened  by  Pope  Benedict 
XIII.,  at  the  instigation  of  the  converted  Tal- 
mudist,  Dr.  Jerome  of  Santa  F6,  who,  after 
his  baptism,  entered  the  service  of  the  Pope, 
being  appointed  his  physician.  Both  Jewish 
and  Christian  historians  give  a  detailed  account 
of  this  conference ;  and,  though  it  is  natural 
they  should  differ  in  their  views  of  the  subject 
discussed,  as  well  as  in  the  result  of  the  dispu- 

*   To    be    met    with    in    the    '^  Bibliotheca    Magna 
Veterom  Patrum,"  and  "  Antiqa.  Scriptorum." 


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828     THE  CONFERENCE  AT  TORTOSA. 

tation,  they  agree  very  nearly  in  asserting  the 
following  particulars  ;♦ — 

The  Congress  was  opened  by  the  Pope 
in  person,  attended  by  the  Cardinals  and 
clergy  of  all  ranks,  and  remained  sitting  there 
for  more  than  twenty-one  months.  In  this 
lime  they  held  sixty-nine  meetings,  during 
which  both  sides  joined  in  discussing  the  great 
question,  ^^Is  Jesus,  called  of  Nazareth,  who  was 
bom  at  Bethlehem  in  the  latter  days  of  King 
Herod,  forty  years  before  the  destruction  of 
the  second  temple,  who  was  crucified,  and 
died  at  Jerusalem,  really  the  true  Messiah, 
foretold  by  the  prophets  of  the  Old  Testa- 
ment?" 

The  discussion  was  carried  on  by  arguments 
drawn  from  Scripture,  as  well  as  from  the 
Paraphrases  and  Commentaries  of  the  Jews. 
On  the  Christian  side,  there  was  with  the 
Doctor  of  Santa  Fe,  who  opened  the  Assembly 

*  We  find  the  account  given  by  the  Christians  of  this 
meeting  in  Zurita's  ^^Anales  de  Aragon,"  torn.  iii.  foL 
108,  109  ;  in  Rodrigues  de  Castro's  '' Bibliotheca  Rab- 
binica,"  i.  pp.  203 — 227.  The  Jewish  accounts  were 
chiefly  written  by  Rabbi  Salomon  Ben  Verga,  in  his 
"  Sceptrum  Judee."  A  narrative  of  the  whole  by  Dr. 
Jerome  of  Santa  Fk  is  said  to  have  remained  in  MS.  in 
the  library  of  the  Escurial. 


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THE  CONFERENCE  AT  TORTOSA.     329 

with  a  speech,  and  subsequently  took  an  active 
part  in  the  discussion,  another  converted  Jewish 
teacher,  well  skilled  in  Hebrew  and  Chaldee, 
named  Andreas  Beltran,  a  native  of  Valencia, 
at  that  time  Almoner  to  the  Pope,  and  after- 
wards  made  Bishop  of  Barcelona.  Among  a 
numerous  body  of  clergy  was  Garcia  Alvares 
de  Alarcon,  especially  famed  for  his  knowledge 
of  the  Hebrew  language  and  theology.  On 
the  Jewish  side  were  Babbi  Zarachia  the 
Levite,  Don  Todros  de  Huesca,  Don  Joseph 
Ben  Addereth,  Don  Istroc,  or  Astruc,  the 
Levite,  Rabbi  Moses  Ben  Mosa,  Rabbi  Joseph 
Albo,  Rabbi  Ferrer,  and  Don  Vidal  Ben- 
venista,  who  was  the  principal  champion  of  his 
party,  as  Dr.  Jerome  was  on  the  Christian 
side.  The  result  of  this  conference  is  passed 
over  by  Jewish  historians  with  remarkable 
silence.  According  to  the  Christians,  all  the 
Rabbins  declared  themselves  vanquished,  and 
signed  an  act  to  that  effect,  with  the  exception 
of  Rabbi  Albo  and  Rabbi  Ferrer. 

In  consequence  of  this  decisive  victory,  a 
vast  multitude  of  Israelites  were  added  to  the 
Church,  which  they  entered  by  families  and 
by  synagogues.  But  the  glory  of  this  event 
was  tarnished  by  the  intolerant  and  harsh 
edicts  which  the  Church  of  Rome  thought  fit 


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330     THB  CONFEBENCE  AT  T0RT08A. 

to  pronounce  against  those  Jews  who  could  not 
be  brought  by  persuasion  to  embrace  the 
Christian  faith  or  to  adopt  its  forms. 

It  was  not  to  the  conference  of  Jewish  and 
Christian  theologians  at  Tortosa  allone  that 
Castile  and  Arragon  were  indebted  £ot  so 
great  a  number  of  converts,  many  of  whom 
sincerely  received  the  Christian  faith,  while  all 
professed  obedience  to  the  Church  of  Eome. 

Some  years  before,  the  exemplary  zeal  of  a 
Dominican  monk  had  led  him  to  preach  the  Gos- 
pel in  Spain,  both  to  the  Jews  and  Mahometans ; 
and  the  Word  of  God,  declared  in  the  midst 
of  the  synagogue  and  among  the  people,  with- 
out threats  of  fire  or  sword,  had  been  crowned 
with  incredible  success.  To  the  devoted  piety 
and  great  talents  of  Vincent  Ferrar  testi- 
mony is  borne,  alike  by  Protestant  writers* 
and  those  of  the  Komish  Church ;  the  success 
that  attended  his  efforts  was  equal  to  the  zeal 
he  evinced  while  visiting  the  Churches  of 
England,  Ireland,  France,  and  Italy.  It  is 
said  that  in  Spain  eight  thousand  Mahometans, 
and  more  than  thirty  thousand  Jews  were 
brought,  by  his  preaching,  to  the  knowledge 


*   Milner's    "ffistory    of  the    Church  of   Christ.*' 
Cent.  XV.  ch.  4. 


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NUMEROUS    CONVERSIONS,   ETC.  331 

of  the  truth,  an  event  celebrated  in  history  as 
a  cause  of  national  rejoicing.* 

It  may  well  be  imagined  that  all  these  cour 
versions  were  not  well  grounded  and  sincere.  On 
the  contrary,  a  marked  and  abiding  difference 
became  afterwards  more  and  more  manifest  be- 
tween the  Converses  for  many  generations.  We 
may  divide  the  baptized  Jews' and  their  de- 
scendants into  three  classes.  1st.  Those  who 
in  truth,  and  with  all  their  heart,  received  the 
Christian  faith,  or,  brought  up  in  that  religion 
by  parents  of  Jewish  origin,  ended  by  be- 
coming really  attached  to  it.  2dly.  Those 
who  from  purely  worldly  motives,  and  without 
sincere  love  for  either  faith,  made  use  of  any 
occasion  that  presented  itself  to  escape  from 
the  oppressed  condition  of  the  Jew,  and  enter 
the  brilliant  career  opened  to  them  by  a  pro- 
fession in  conformity  with  the  doctrines  of  the 
reigning  Church.  3dly.  Those  who,  under  com- 
pulsion of  persecution,  or  on  the  impulse  of  the 
moment,  made  a  profession  of  Christianity,  while 
they  practised  in  secret  the  rites  of  Judaism,  and 
handed  down  its  tenets  to  their  posterity. 

*  la  un&  Hispanic  Maurorum  octo  millia,  JudiBorum 
triginta  quinque  millia  nomina  Chrbto  dederunt :  ac 
pnesertim  Palentis  in  Yaccaeis  multo  maxima  Judseonim 
pars  Christiana  sacra  suscepit,  Sanctro  Rogio  ejus  urbis 
EpisoopaPublicaexiis  rebus  Itetitia,  etc. — Mariana,  xix.  13. 


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332  NUMEROUS   CONVERSIONS,     ETC. 

Whatever  may  have  been  the  cause,  from 
that  time  the  Christian  population  of  Spain, 
especially  of  the  upper  classes,  was  swelled  by 
a  great  influx  of  Jewish  families  and  their 
descendants, — a  remarkable  event,  the  conse- 
quences of  which  have  since  been  apparent  in 
many  ways,  and  have  continued  so,  even  to  our 
time,  in  that  country.  We  shall  soon  have 
occasion  to  take  a  dark  and  distressing  view  of 
this  fact,  but  we  have  first  a  few  words  more 
to  say  upon  the  brighter  side. 

There  is  no  doubt  but  that  these  forced  and 
feigned  conversions,  as  well  as  the  worldly 
conduct  of  many  who  had  willingly  embraced 
Christianity,  became,  both  to  the  Jews  them- 
selves, and  to  a  large  portion  of  the  Spanish 
population,  a  source  of  great  and  increasing 
misery.  And  yet  we  must  not  on  that  account 
close  our  eyes  to  the  excellence  of  other  con- 
versions; I  mean  of  those  whose  sincerity 
furnished  to  Spain,  even  after  the  establish- 
ment of  the  Inquisition,  many  interesting  and 
bright  examples,  both  in  the  offices  of  Church 
and  State. 

Paul  of  Burgos  and  his  sons  are  not  by  any 
means  the  only  sons  of  Israel  whose  services, 
talents,  and  virtue,  adorn  the  annals  of  Spain. 
We  shall  notice  in  later  times  some  dis- 
tinguished statesmen  of  Jewish  birth  who  have 


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DISTINGUISHED   PRELATES,    ETC.  333 

obtained  high  &me  in  their  own  countiy,  and 
been  the  founders  of  some  of  the  most  illustri- 
ous Christian  families  in  the  Peninsula. 

In  the  annals  of  the  fifteenth  and  the  early 
part  of  the  sixteenth  century  many  Converses 
and  their  descendants  are  named  as  having 
distinguished  themselves  by  their  excellence 
among  the  different  ranks  and  degrees  of  the 
clergy.  None  are  more  highly  spoken  of  than 
the  Cardinal  Don  Juan  de  Torquemada*  and 
the  Dean  of  Toledo,  Don  Francisco,  afterwards 
Bishop  of  Coria,  who  were  looked  upon  as  the 
ornaments  of  their  country  and  century.  Both 
were  Castilians  by  birth, — one  from  Burgos, 
the  other  from  Toledo;  both  were  high  in 
esteem  at  Home,  and  valued  by  their  own 
sovereigns,  who  employed  them  in  various  im- 
portant embassies,  and  appointed  them  to 
posts  of  responsibility,  both  in  the  Church  and 
State ;  both,  also,  but  especially  Torquemada, 
were  the  authors  of  different  works  on  subjects 
of  general  interest,  and  also  on  theology.  They 
were  equally  remarkable  for  the  purity  of  their 
life  and  conduct,  their  zeal  in  the  duties  of 
their  ofBlce,  and  for  a  fear  of  God  in  the  heart, 

*  This  Cardinal  Torquemada  must  not  be  confounded 
with  the  famous  Dominican,  Don  Thomas  de  Torquemada, 
so  well  known  as  the  first  Inquisitor-General  in  Spain. 


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334  DISTINGUISHED   PRELATES 

which  led  to  the  observance  of  all  his  com- 
mandments in  their  relations  with  men.  Lastly, 
both  exerted  themselves  in  the  cause  of  their 
Israelitish  brethren  converted  to  the  faith, 
against  the  injustice  of  the  clergy  and  the 
prejudices  of  the  multitude,  who  sought  to 
exclude  them  from  any  participation  in  the 
dignities  of  the  Church  or  State. 

All  the  really  pious  and  enlightened  clergy 
sided  with  these  two  excellent  Israelites  in 
repressing  every  manifestation  of  ill-will 
against  the  Jews  and  Converses.  Among 
them  was  Alonzo  de  Oropessa,  the  celebrated 
Superior  of  the  Hieronymites,  an  upright, 
moderate  man,  who  sought  to  guard  by 
severity  against  feigned  conversions,  while  he 
upheld  with  kindness  and  impartiality  the 
cause  of  true  converts  to  Christianity,  by 
screening  them  from  persecution  and  unjust 
exclusion. 

In  the  footsteps  of  Torquemada  and  his 
cotemporaries  followed  other  bishops  and  pre- 
lates of  the  same  descent  We  may  mention 
the  names  of  Don  Alonso  de  Valladolid,  and 
Don  Alonso  de  Palenzuela,  both  in  turn 
Bishops  of  Ciudad  Rodrigo,  vrith  another 
pious  and  eminent  prelate  of  his  time,  Don 
Juan  Ortega,  of  Malvenda,  Bishop  of  Coria, 


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OF   JEWISH   ORIGIN.  335 

and  a  near  relation  of  Paul  of  Burgos,  of 
whom  is  related  in  the  chronicles  of  Ferdinand 
and  Isabella,*  that  be  was  almost  compelled 
by  force  to  accept  this  dignity,  in  1482, — so  far 
was  he  from  seeking  anything  beyond  a  life  of 
tranquil  and  unnoticed  piety. 

Many  converted  Jews  or  their  descendants 
are  mentioned  in  the  same  century  as  zealous 
reformers  of  the  religious  orders,  especially 
Malvenda,  who  belonged  to  one  of  them 
before  he  was  raised  to  the  Episcopate. 

There  were,  however,  some  sad  exceptions 
to  the  remarks  we  have  just  made.  Bishops 
and  other  members  of  the  clergy  of  Jewish 
birth  and  descent  having  undoubtedly  intro- 
duced dangerous  errors,  and  held  in  secret 
pernicious  heresies. 

One  grievous  and  remarkable  instance  is 
brought  before  us  in  a  trial  by  the  Ecclesi- 
astical Court,  of  which  we  will  give  a  brief 
sketch.  Gonzalvo  Alonso,  a  Jew,  baptized  in 
consequence  of  the  preaching  of  Vincent 
Ferrar,  was  promoted  to  high  dignity  in  the 
Church,  as  well  as  his  two  sons,  one  of  whom, 
Don  Alonzo,  was  made  Archbishop  of  Mon- 
treal,  in  Sicily;    the  other,   Don  Pedro  de 

*  Hernando  des  Falgar,  Cronica  de  los  Senores  Cato- 
lioos  Don  Fernando  j  Dona  IsabdL 


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336  PRELATES   OF   JEWISH    ORIGIN. 

Aranda,  Bishop  of  Calahorra ;  the  latter  was 
also  named  President  of  the  Council  of  Castile, 
in  the  reign  of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella  (1482), 
on  account  of  his  great  political  and  legisla- 
tive talents.  Ten  years  afterwards,  he  was 
engaged  by  the  Inquisition  in  a  double  suit: 
first,  on  account  of  his  father,  whom  that 
tribunal  declared  to  have  returned  in  secret 
to  Judaism,  and  whose  property  it  therefore 
laid  claim  to,  according  to  existing  regulations. 
The  other  suit  related  to  the  Bishop  himself 
who  was  accused  of  perverting  the  Christian 
religion  by  errors  inclining  towards  Judaism, 
to  introduce  which  he  had  employed  all  kinds 
of  machinations,  and  even  called  Councils  in 
his  own  diocese.  He  appealed  to  the  Pope, 
and  went  in  person  to  Rome,  where  he  met 
with  a  most  favourable  reception.  He  cleared 
the  memory  of  his  father  from  the  accusations 
of  the  Inquisition,  and  was  appointed  Major- 
domo  to  Pope  Alexander  YI.,  who  sent  him 
as  his  ambassador  to  the  Republic  of  Venice. 
When,  however,  the  trial  for  heresy,  of  which 
he  had  been  accused^  was  put  by  the  Pope 
into  the  hands  of  a  Committee  of  Ecclesiastics, 
the  result,  after  the  examination  of  a  hundred 
and  one  witnesses  cited  by  the  Bishop,  was, 
his  condemnation  to  perpetual  imprisonment 


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PRELATES   OF   JEWISH   EXTRACTION.        337 

in  the  Castle  of  St  Angelo,  where  he  soon 
after  died.  Though  liorente*  tries  to  defend 
him,  yet  his  admissions,  with  other  details 
from  Mariana  and  Zurita,  tend  to  prove  that 
the  Bishop  of  Calahorra  was  in  truth  a  con* 
cealed  Jew. 

The  immense  accession  of  converts  and  their 
descendants,  allied  to  the  old  Christians  by 
the  ties  of  marriage  and  relationship,  excited 
fresh  movements  and  disturbances  among  the 
people,  especially  the  lower  classes.  The 
riches  and  privileges  of  the  Jews,  when  bap. 
tized,  were  not  less  intolerable  than  those  of 
unbaptized  Jews  in  the  eyes  of  a  multitude 
who  looked  upon  the  greater  number  of  the 
Converses — often,  alas  I  with  truth — as  unbe* 
lievers,  who  aggravated  the  crime  of  their 
enmity  to  Christians  and  Christianity  by  the 
added  guilt  of  dissimulation.  Thence  arose 
seditions,  pillage,  and  reciprocal  murders,  not 
only  between  Jew  and  Christian,  but  hence- 
forth between  Jew  and  Christian  and  Con- 
versos.  Thence  sprung  associations  of  a 
religious  nature  in  the  midst  of  the  political 
Actions  which  already  distracted  the  feeble 
and  unhappy  reign  of  Henry  lY.,  of  Castile 
(1454—1474).  All  these  together  seemed 
«  Histoiie  de  lOnqiiisitioc,  i.,  267r*269r 
Q 


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338  BEIGN   OF   FERDINAND 

ready  to  plunge  the  kingdom  into  a  6tiU 
deeper  chaos  of  disorder, — when  all  at  once 
the  succession  of  Isabella,  the  sister  of  Heiury, 
to  the  throne,  gave  to  Castile  fresh  life  and 
vigour. 

It  was  a  striking  manifestation  of  God's 
providence  which,  just  as  the  Castiliau  mon- 
archy was  sinking  into  a  state  of  irretrievable 
anarchy,  raised  up  the  high-souled  woman 
to  whom  the  whole  monarchy  of  Spain  owes 
its  greatest  period  of  splendour.  Almost 
against  his  wiU,  but  guided  by  his  ppwerful 
favourite,  Don  Alvar  de  Luna,  King  John  II. 
had  contracted  a  second  marriage  with  the 
Infanta  Isabella,  daughter  of  the  Grand 
Master,  Don  John  of  Portugal,  one  of  the 
sons  of  John  I.,  of  that  country.  This  mar- 
riage soon  proved  fatal  in  its  eflfects  to  Don 
Alvar,  who  had  recommended  it ;  for,  having 
excited  the  displeasure  of  the  new  Queen,  he 
fell  into  disgrace  with  the  King,  and  ended 
his  days  on  the  scaffold.  By  this  second  mar« 
riage  King  John  II.  had  two  children,  aa 
in&nt  named  Alfonso,  born  1451,  and  an  in- 
&nta,  afterwards  the  celebrated  Queen  Isabella., 

The  childhood  and  youth  of  the  futuxe 
Queen  were  spent  in  neglect  and  retirement. 
King  !Qexiry  necessarily  looked  with  suspicioxi 


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AND   ISABELLA.  339 

upon  the  o&pring  of  his  fiither's  second  mar- 
riage,— a  feeling  increased  by  the  numerous 
outbreaks  and  disturbances  raised  by  those 
who  were  discontented  with  his  government 
A  powerful  party  among  the  nobility  placed 
the  young  Alfonso  at  their  head,  and  pro* 
claimed  his  title  to  the  throne;  they  were, 
however,  completely  defeated,  near  Olmeda, 
in  1466,  when  he  lost  the  throne  he  had 
usurped,  and,  soon  after,  his  life  (1468).  His 
party  then  offered  the  succession  to  his  sister^ 
the  young  Isabella,  but  in  vain.  Yet  her 
refusal  gained  her  no  fstvour  with  her  royal 
brother.  On  the  contrary,  the  distance  be- 
tween them  was  increased,  when,  in  1469,  the 
In&nta  made  her  choice  among  the  princes 
who  sought  her  hand,  and  married  her  cousin^ 
Don  Ferdinand,  son  and  heir  of  John  11.,  ot 
Arragon,  against  the  will  of  the  King.  New 
parties  were  still  formed  in  Castile  to  dispute 
the  succession  to  the  throne.  In  the  differ* 
ences  that  then  arose  between  the  partisans  of 
the  daughter  of  Henry  lY.,  Dona  Johanna, 
and  those  of  the  King's  sister,  Isabella,  the 
great  majority  of  the  nobles  and  of  the  people 
declared  themselves  in  favour  of  the  couple 
already  esteemed  and  loved  by  all,  whq  have 
since  gained  so  great  a  name  in  history  undet; 
Q  2        ' 


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340  REIQN   OF   FERDINAND 

the  title  of  '*  Reyes  Catolicos,"  the  Catholic 
sovereigns. 

Their  accession  to  the  throne  at  the  death 
of  Henry  IV«,  in  1474,  was  the  commence- 
ment of  a  long  course  of  prosperity  for  their 
country.     King  Alphonso  V.,   of  Portugal, 
who  had   declared  himself  the  champion  of 
Dona  Johanna,    that   he  might    secure  the 
crown   to  himself  by  a  marriage  with  that 
princess,  lost,   after  the  battle  of  Tore,  all 
hopes  of  effecting  this  scheme,  and  was  com- 
pelled to  sign  a  treaty  of  peace,  confirming 
Isabella's  right  to  the  throne  which  she  then 
occupied.     Castile  was  soon  fortified  and  ren- 
dered formidable  to  her  enemies,  both  within 
and  without  the  Peninsula,  by  the  success  of 
her  arms.     Her  inward  power  was  also  greatiy 
increased  by  tne  wisdom  of  a  Government 
which  could  appreciate,  encourage,   and  ap- 
propriate,  all  the  available  resources  of  the 
country,  both  iu  material  riches,  and  in  moral 
and  intellectual  greatness. 

Beciprocal  strength  and  advantage  accrued 
to  CastUe  and  Arragon  from  the  union  of  the 
two  crowns  under  such  eminent  princes  as 
Ferdinand  and  Isabella..  The  interior  govern- 
ment throughout  their  dominions  was  soon 
simplified  and  upheld  by  a  rare  admixture  of 


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AND   ISABELLA.  341 

mildness  and  decision.  The  nobility,  whose 
chivalrous  bearing  was  more  than  ever  re* 
spected,  and  incited  to  great  and  noble  deeds, 
were  thus  rendered  incapable  of  injuring  the 
Royal  power.  They  were  thus  also  prevented 
from  mutually  destroying  and  weakening  one 
another,  as  they  had  done  during  the  innumer* 
able  feuds  which  arose  between  the  great 
families  of  the  kingdom  before  the  accession 
of  Isabella,  and  which  had  almost  unpeopled 
Castile  and  Andalusia.  The  great  men  who 
flourished  in  this  the  golden  age  of  Spain, 
found  in  fidelity  and  devotion  to  their  King 
and  Queen  a  common  rallying  point  against 
enemies  from  abroad,  and  the  unbelieving 
Moslem  within  the  Peninsula.  No  names  in 
the  whole  history  of  Spain  are  more  illustrious 
than  those  whose  renown  formed,  as  it  were, 
part  of  the  government  of  Ferdinand  and 
Isabella ;  as,  for  instance,  that  of  the  great 
captain  and  conqueror  of  the  Moors  in  Spain 
and  the  French  in  Italy,  Gonzalvo  Fernandez, 
of  Cordova,  with  others  of  the  illustrious 
families  of  the  Guzmans,  anciently  of  Gothic 
origin ; — the  Toledos,  dukes  of  Alva,  sprung 
from  a  royal  stock  among  the  Arabs ; — the 
Arias,  of  Avila,  of  Israelitish  descent;*  and 
♦  Diego  Arias,  Treasurer  and  Secretary  to  Henry  IV. 


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842  REION    OF   FERDINAND 

the  Henricos  and  Arragons,  princes  of  the 
same  blood  as  their  sover^gns.  Among  the 
illustrious  personages  who  surrounded  the 
throne,  distinguished  alike  by  noble  birth  and 
high  personal  merit,  we  find  six  sons  of  Don 
Inigo  Lopes  de  Mendoza,  Marquis  of  Santil- 
lane,  equally  renowned  in  his  day  as  a  warrior 
and  a  man  of  letters.  One  of  his  sons,  Don 
Pedro  Gbnsales  de  Mendoza,  was  Archbishop 
of  Toledo,  often  called  the  "  Great  Cardmal," 
and  sometimes,  on  account  of  his  political 
wisdom  and  powerful  influence  in  the  affairs 
of  state  under  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  ^^  the 
third  sovereign  of  Castile."  He  was  suc- 
ceeded in  the  Archbishopric,  as  well  as  in  the 
confidence  of  the  King,  by  Cardinal  Ximenes, 
so  well  known  in  history  for  his  vigorous 
regency  of  Castile   during  the  minority  of 

was  one  of  those  Jews  who,  in  the  coarse  of  the  fifteenth 
century,  asked  for,  and  received,  haptism  hj  hundreds. 
One  of  his  sons,  made  Bishop  of  Segovia,  was  more 
inclined  to  act  as  a  turbulent  statesman  and  soldier,  than 
as  a  virtuous  prelate.  When  troubled  by  the  Inquisition, 
he  escaped  all  persecution  bj  an  appeal  to  Borne,  where 
he  ended  his  days.  From  a  brother  of  this  Bishop, 
Pedro  Arias  d'Avila,  and  his  two  sons,  Pedro  and  Juan, 
descended  a  family,  who,  as  well  as  the  three  we  have 
named,  were,  from  father  to  son,  distinguished  for  their 
warlike  and  heroic  exploits. 


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AND   ISABELLA.  343 

Charles  V.  He  was,  like  his  predecessor, 
Mendoza,  a  man  of  extraordinary  talents,  pos* 
sessing,  perhaps,  greater  power  and  strength 
of  mind,  hut  less  of  generosity  and  open- 
heartedhess. 

The  wise  government  of  the  Catholic  so- 
vereigns enabled  them  to  show  honour  to,  and 
at  the  same  time  keep  in  subjection,  all  the 
distinguished  characters  among  the  chief 
nobility  and  high  dignitaries  of  the  Church* 
But  the  influence  of  the  same  government  was 
not  less  salutary  in  its  effects  on  the  middle 
classes  and  the  people  in  general.  Measures 
Vrere  taken  to  protect  and  encourage  industry 
and  commerce.  Learning  and  science  was 
more  than  ever  esteemed  and  cultivated. 
Taking  example  from  the  Queen,  who  both 
iread  and  wrote  in  Latin,  many  of  the  chief 
nobility  applied  themselves  to  the  study  of  the 
classics.  A  son  of  the  Duke  of  Alva  gave 
lectures  on  Greek  at  the  academy  of  Sala- 
manca ;  and  a  son  of  the  Count  de  Far6des 
did  the  same  at  Alcala  of  Henarez.  Don 
Ferdinand  de  Velasco  explained  Pliny  and 
Ovid;  Dona  Lucia  de  Medram  became  an 
instructress  in  classical  literature;  while  the 
Marquis  of  Den^a,  even  in  his  sixtieth  year, 
became  a  learner. 


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344      REION   OF   FERDINAND   AND   ISABELLA. 

For  Europe,  as  well  as  for  the  whole  of 
Christendom,  a  new  epoch  was  then  ahout  to 
commence.  The  art  of  printing  had  been 
invented,*  and  its  power  had  spread  far  and 
wide;  the  Reformation  was  on  the  point  of 
dawning,  and  the  taking  of  Constantinople  by 
the  Turks  in  1453  became,  under  God's 
guidance,  a  means  of  spreading  fresh  light 
over  Christendom.  Spain,  under  the  dominion 
of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  was  in  the  foremost 
rank  of  civilization  and  advancement  among 
the  European  powers.  To  that  country  the 
world  was  soon  after  indebted  for  three  of  the 
striking  events  which  mark  the  close  of  the 
Middle  Ages.  The  discovery  of  a  new  way  to 
the  East  Indies,  first  attempted  by  Vasco  de 
6ama, — the  conquest  of  Granada,  and  final 
destruction  of  Mahomedan  power  in  Spain  by 
Ferdinand  and  Isabella, — and  the  discovery  of 

*  One  of  the  most  important  productions  of  the  press  in 
the  beginning  of  the  sixteenth  century  was  the  Complu* 
tensian  Poljglott,  printed  at  the  expense  and  under  the 
superintendence  of  Cardinal  Ximenes  at  Alcala  of 
Henarez.  For  the  Hebrew  text  of  this  edition  we  are 
indebted  to  three  learned  Jews,  who  had  in  their  earlj 
jouth  received  Christian  baptism.  Their  names  were, 
Paul  Coronel,  Alfonso  of  Zamora,  and  Alfonso  of 
Alcala. 


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CHARACTER   OF   QUEEN   ISABELLA.        345 

America  by  Christopher  C!olumbus,  'in  their 
service. 

Of  all  the  noble  deeds,  great  undertakings, 
and  astonishing  discoveries  which  laid  the 
foundation  of  the  powerful  Austro-Spanish 
empire,  Isabella,  rather  than  Ferdinand,  was 
the  soul.  The  King  at  her  side,  guided  by  the 
lofty  genius  of  the  Queen,  was  by  no  means  so 
devoid  of  talents  as  some  historians  have 
represented.  What  he  was  when  left  to  him- 
self, without  his  high-souled  wife,  is  manifest 
in  his  acts  and  his  whole  life  after  her  decease^ 
Both  the  power  and  brilliancy  of  their  reign 
was,  without  doubt,  owing  to  Isabella.  History 
has  long  ago  recognised  and  paid  homage  to 
the  excellence  of  her  character :  but  until  the 
present  century,  when  the  position  of  Spain 
under  the  Catholic  sovereigns*  has  been  so 
prominently  brought  forward,  full  justice  had 
not  been  done  to  her.  Beloved  and  looked  up 
to  by  all,  the  powerful  influence  of  her  noble 
mind  and  energetic  example  acted  with  a 
vivifying  force  upon  the  nation,  the  army, 
and  the  whole  court,  as  well  as  upon  the 
King  himself  and  her  own  immediate  circle. 

♦  See  Prescotfs  **  Ferdinand  and  Isabella; "  and  Don 
Diego  Clemencia's  '*£^ogio  de  la  Beina  Catolica  Dona 
Isabel''  Madrid,  1821. 

a  3 


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846         CHARACTER  OF  QT7E1N   ISABELLA; 

Delighting  in  all  that  was  great  and  chiyalroni, 
and  gifted  with  the  talents  needful  to  carry 
out  her  noble  ideas,  she  united  with  royal 
grandeur  a  woman's  amiability  in  the  fullest 
and  best  sense  of  the  expression.  Nothing 
that  was  unbecoming  or  unhandsome  found 
fiivour  in  her  eyes  because  of  its  expediency. 
Valiant  in  war,  and  severe  in  the  execution  of 
justice,  she  was  yet  of  a  most  tender  and 
compassionate  disposition,  which  led  her  to 
oppose,  though  inefEectually,  the  national  en- 
thusiasm for  bull-fights,  and  even  for  tourna- 
ments, when  they  caused  the  blood  of  brave 
men  to  flow  for  mere  amusement.  Without  in 
any  degree  departing  from  a  queenly  dignity, 
she  treated  her  subjects  and  attendants  with 
the  greatest  possible  affability  on  every  oc- 
casion. Simple  in  her  tastes  and  habits,  she 
tried,  as  far  as  her  high  position  allowed,  to 
carry  out  this  taste  in  her  dress  and  domestic 
arrangements.  True  Christian  piety,  as  far  as 
the  age  and  Church  to  which  she  belonged 
allowed,  was  the  ruling  principle  of  both  her 
public  and  private  life.  From  it  she  found 
strength  and  courage  in  times  of  adversity  as 
well  as  prosperity.  The  glory  of  God,  by  the 
maintenance  and  propagation  of  the  Church 
on  earth,  formed  the  main  object  of  her  politi- 


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GAAftACTAR  OP   OUfiBN   tSABBLLA.        347 

cal  undertakings  at  home  and  abroad.  With 
the  purest  of  motives  she  erred  in  a  way  that 
must  ever  be  deplored  in  the  application  and 
choice  of  means.  The  unity,  which  with  much 
li^isdom  and  energy  she  had  effected  in  tem- 
poral afiSedrs,  and  had  caused  to  centre  in  the 
throne  of  the. Catholic  sovereigns,  she  thought 
it  equally  possible  and  incumbent  upon  her  to 
^tablish  and  maintain  in  spiritual  things 
throughout  the  Church  of  Christ  upon  earth« 
A  sad  but  inevitableconsequenceof  the  teaching 
of  that  Church,  which  seeks  for  unity  and  the 
assurance  of  a  future  state,  not  at  the  right 
hand  of  God  in  those  high  places  where  Christ 
liveth  and  reigneth,  but  in  the  city  upon  seven 
hills,  where  is  set  up  the  dominion  of  the  man  of 
sin !  Fatal  error !  leading  by  necessary  induction 
to  the  Antichristian  measure  of  carrying  on  with 
fire  and  sword  what  God  has  declared  to  be  the 
work  of  his  Holy  Spirit.  This  same  error, 
which  in  after-times  deprived  Philip  II.,  Isa- 
bella's great  nephew,  of  the  Low  Countries, 
and  took  from  Louis  XIV.  all  his  Protestant 
subjects,  now  tore  the  very  vitals  of  Spain, 
debased  the  character  of  its  inhabitants,  and 
opened  an  inexhaustible  source,  not  only  of 
superstition,  but  of  infidelity,  in  the  midst  of 
its  population  for  centuries  after.    The  king- 


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348        CHABACTBB  OF   QUEBN   ISABBtLA. 

doms  of  Spain  owe  to  the  noble  and  hig^ 
minded  Isabella  two  events  which  almost 
entirely  tarnish  the  lustre  of  the  great  benefits 
£or  which  they  are  indebted  jto  her  gloriona 
reign.  These  were,  the  introdaction  of  the 
Inquisition  and  the  expulsion  of  the  Jews. 
The  aim  of  the  latter  was  to  deliver  Spain 
from  the  incredulity  of  the  unbaptized  Jews ; 
that  of  the  former,  to  guard  against  the 
ftpostasy  of  those  who  were  baptized.  Both 
entirely  failed  in  accomplishing  their  end,  after 
shedding  torrents  of  blood  and  inflicting  in- 
calculable suffering. 

Yet  Ferdinand,  and  especially  Isabella,  were 
far  from  that  Pagan  hatred  of  the  Jewish  race 
so  frequently  met  with  where  zeal  for  the 
Church  and  religion  is  entirely  wanting, 
Isabella  befriended  the  Jews  as  a  nation,  not 
only  with  a  desire  to  win  them  to  the  Christian 
faith,  but  also  because  of  the  ancient  ties  which 
had  subsisted  between  her&thersand  the  Jewish 
families  established  from  time  immemorial  in 
Spain.  She  herself  had  Israelitish  blood  in 
her  veins,  by  her  descent  in  the  female  line 
from  John  I.  of  Portugal,  whose  mother  was  a 
daughter  of  Israel.  The  kings  who  had  pre- 
ceded Ferdinand  and  Isabella  had  always  been 
surrounded  by  Israelites  in  the  capacity  of 


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QUEEN   ISABELLA   AKD  THE  JEWS.        349 

physicians,  treasurers,  learned  men,  and  minis* 
ters  of  state ;  individuals  of  that  nation  had 
many  times  rendered  service  and  proved  their 
fidelity  to  Queen  Isabella  and  her  husband. 
Don  Abraham  Senior,  in  a  moment  when  their 
succession  was  doubtful,  had  exerted  himself 
with  so  much  energy  on  their  behalf,  that 
when  a  great  diminution  of  favours  and 
pensions  was  decreed,  he  was  among  the  few 
to  whom  a  continuation  of  his  pension  was 
consid^ed  due. 

The  celebrated  Rabbi  Don  Isaac  Abarbanel, 
of  whom  we  shall  speak  hereafter,  long  enjoyed 
the  confidence  of  the  Catholic  sovereigns. 
They  were  at  all  times  surrounded  by  nu- 
merous Converses.  In  the  reign  of  John  II., 
the  father  of  Isabella,  one  of  the  most  eminent 
statesmen  mentioned  in  all  chronicles  and 
histories  was  Don  Ferdinand  Diaz  de 
Toledo,  a  converted  Jew,  whose  son,  Don 
Pedro  de  Toledo,  in  the  reign  of  Isabella,  was 
first  Archdeacon  of  the  Archbishopric  of 
Toledo,  and  afterwards,  when  Malaga  was 
taken  from  the  Moors  in  1489,  he  was  con- 
sidered the  fittest  person  to  appoint  as  its  first 
Bishop.  Among  the  immediate  attendants  at 
Court  we  find  also  Fernando  del  Pulgar, 
secretary  and  chronicler  to  the  Queen ;  Alonso 


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960       QUEEN   ISABELLA   Aim  THE  JEWS. 

de  Avila,  secretary,  and  Ferdinand  AlTares  de 
Toledo,*  prothonotary,  of  Granada, — all  Cozk* 
versos :  the  descendants  of  the  latter  were  did-' 
tinguished  in  Castile  as  the  Connts  of  Cedillo. 
Ferdinand,  in  his  kingdom  of  Arragon,  was  not 
less  surrounded  with  Conversos  and  their 
descendants  at  his  Court  and  in  the  offices  of 
the  State.  The  prothonotary  of  Arragon^ 
Philip  de  Qemente,  with  his  wife,  Violante  de 
.Calatayud,  the  King's  secretary,  Luis  Gon- 
zales, and  his  treasurer,  Luiz  Sanchez,  were 
all  descended  in  a  direct  line  from  haptized 
or  converted  Jews.  The  Vice-ChanoeHor  of 
Arragon,  in  the  time  of  Ferdinand's  fiither  as 
well  as  his  own,  was  Don  Alonzo  de  la  Cavalleria, 
of  Saragossa,  of  a  family  originally  Jewish, 
whose  Christian  members  were  at  that  time  to 
be  found  among  the  clergy  and  magistrates  of 
the  town,  as  well  as  in  the  first  and  second 
chamber.  His  grandson,  Don  Francisco  de  la 
CavaUeria,  was  afterwards  honoured  by  an 
alliance  with  the  royal  family,  when  he  married 
the  Countess  of  Ribagorza^  a  cousin  of  the 
Emperor  Charles  V.  Meanwhile,  the  Inqui- 
sition noted  with  care  the  genealogies  of  all 
the  nobles  of  Arragon,  sprung  of  Jewish  race, 

*  We  must  not  confound  this  family  with  the  Alvares 
of  Toledo^  Dukes  of  Alva,  who  were  of  Arabic  ori^n^ 


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THE  NEW   INQUISITION.  851 

ki  a  secret  register,  which  was  used,  when 
occasion  served,  to  oppress  those  with  whom  it 
was  displeased,  and  whose  revelations  were 
concealed,  or  clothed  under  a  pretence  of  in* 
dnigence  to  those  whose  credit  and  power  it 
feared. 

Mention  is  made  in  history  of  the  Inquisition 
before  the  year  1483,  for  an  ancient  institution 
then  existed  which  the  zealots  of  the  time  con** 
sidered  quite  inadequate  to  purge  the  Church 
from  the  leaven  of  Judaism.  The  tribunal  estab^ 
lished  by  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  which  cast 
so  dark  a  shadow  over  their  reign,  was  called 
the  New  Inquisition.  Under  this  title,  an 
abomination  already  too  well  known  through-^ 
out  Christendom,  appeared  with  fresh  organic* 
2ation  and  redoubled  powers. 

It  is  well  known  that  the  fanatical  hatred  of 
the  Dominican  order,  when  seeking  a  fit  in- 
strument for  the  destruction  of  the  Vaudois, 
invented  the  Inquisition,  which  found  nu- 
merous victims  among  the  Christians  of  the 
south  of  France,  &c.  The  ancient  Inquisition 
had  also  vented  its  fury  upon  the  errors  of  the 
Jews  and  Conversos,  without  having  attained 
the  degree  of  systematic  cruelty  and  organized 
ferocity  of  which  the  new  Inquisition  pre- 
sented to  the  world  so  fearful  a  spectacle. 


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352  THE  NEW   INQUISITION. 

The  new  Inquisition  differed  from  its  elder 
sister  in  two  ways :    firsts    because    it  was 
especially    directed     against    converts    from 
Judaism,  without  overlooking  those  from  Ma« 
homedanism,  or  ceasing  to  take  cognizance  of 
evil  doings  against  the  religion  of  the  State ; 
secondly^  because,    unlike    the  old  tribunal, 
which  was  put  in  force  for  a  time,  as  circum* 
stances    required,    and    called    ^^Inquisition 
Extraordinary,'* — this,  on  the  contrary,  formed 
a  'permanent  and  powerful  body  in  the  State, 
connected  with  the  Grovernment,  and  looked 
upon  as  an  integral  part  of  it     A  decree  waa 
made,  that  no  Bishop  or  other  priest  of  Jewish 
extraction  should  take  a  seat   in  this  new 
court,   though  this,   like  many  similar  ordi* 
nances,  did  not  long  remain  in  force.^    The 
whole  power  of  this  monstrous  Inquisition 
soon  fell  entirely  into  the  hands  of  the  regular 
clergy,    especially  the  Dominicans,  to  whom 
Torquemada,  the  first  Inquisitor-General  of 
Castile  and  Arragon,    belonged.      Like  the 
order  of  the  Jesuits  with  its  General  at  Rome, 
the  Inquisition  of  Spain  was  at  once  a  power- 
ful bulwark  and  a  cause   of   terror  to  the 
Papacy,  which  at  the  same  time  upheld  and 
feared  it. 

*  See  Uorente's  History  of  the  Inquisition. 


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THE   NEW   INQUISITION.  363 

Isabdia  could  not  easily  make  up  her  mind 
to  adopt  a  measure  which,  when  once  estab- 
lished, must  be  acted  upon  and  carried  out 
with  the  same  energy  and  recklessness  of  con- 
sequences that  characterized  her  whole  govern- 
ment. The  Cortes,  the  nobility,  and  the  gran- 
dees, were,  in  general,  opposed  to  the  estab- 
lishment of  the  Inquisition,  but  the  Domi- 
nicans had  set  their  heart  upon  it,  and  were 
determined  to  obtain  it,  while  the  lowest 
orders  of  the  populace  favoured,  and,  on  oc- 
casion, supported  it.  Many  centuries  after, 
when  the  whole  history  of  Spain,  bent  in  com- 
pliance with,  and  subjugated  by,  the  powers 
of  the  Inquisition,  had  been  obliged  to  falsify 
and  conceal  many  facts,  it  began  to  attribute 
both  the  establishment  of  this  tribunal  and 
the  banishment  of  the  Jews  to  the  influence 
of  several  great  men  at  the  Court  of  Isabella, 
who,  in  reality,  had  taken  no  share  in  either 
of  these  movements.  An  urgent  remonstrance 
against  the  establishment  o€this  terrible  tribunal 
during  the  reign  of  the  Catholic  sovereigns  is 
attributable  to  Ximenes,  though  the  fact  cannot 
be  denied,  that  in  later  times  this  statesman 
supported  the  dealings  of  the  Inquisition  with 
the  Flemish  nobility,  during  the  minority  of 
Charles  V.,    and  after  Torquemada's  death 


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354  THB  KSW  INQUtSlTlOK; 

accepted  the  post  of  Inquisitor-General.  The 
whole  spirit  of  the  Oreat  Cardinal  de  Mendoza 
was  entirely  opposed  to  that  of  the  Inquisi- 
tion, and  Talavera  showed  sufficiently  by  his 
manner  of  dealing  with  the  Mahomedans^ 
when  Archbishop  of  Gtanada,  that  he  sought 
to  bring  unbelievers  to  the  faith  of  the  Grospel, 
not  by  force,  but  by  means  of  a  noble  and 
active  Christian  philanthropy.  After  the 
death  of  his  royal  friend,  Queen  Isabella, 
Talavera  himself  was  exposed  to  the  enmity 
of  the  Inquisition,  which  was  directed  against 
his  near  relations  and  himself,  to  the  utter 
indignation  of  all  good  men. 

Of  King  Ferdinand  it  was  said,  that  he  was 
disposed  to  look  favourably  upon  the  introduce 
tion  of  the  new  Inquisition  for  the  sake  of  his 
treasury,  which  was  likely  soon  to  be  swelled 
by  a  vast  amount  of  confiscations.  But  this 
circumstance  in  itself  alarmed  the  conscience 
of  the  Queen,  always  tender,  even  in  her 
greatest  errors,  and  made  her  hesitate  long 
before  she  gave  her  consent  to  the  measure. 
What  finally  determined  her  to  adopt  it  was, 
a  vow  she  had  made  when  a  young  Infanta, 
in  the  presence  of  Thomas  of  Torquemada, 
then  her  Confessor,  that  if  ever  she  came  to 
the  throne,  she  would  maintain  the  Catholic 


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TfflS  NEW   INQUISITION.  855 

faith  with  all  her  power,  and  extirpate  heresy 
to  the  very  root 

The  first  Papal  Bull  issued  for  the  estahlish- 
ment  of  the  Inquisition  on  this  new  footing 
in  Castile,  is  dated  in  the  year  1478.  From 
that  time  firesh  decrees  were  continually  made 
in  its  favour,  great  privileges  granted  to  the 
Inquisitors,  and  directions  given  for  their 
lahours,  to  which  every  facility  was  afforded. 
At  Seville,  the  new  tribunal  opened  the  series 
of  its  abominations,  the  different  authorities 
^receiving  strict  injunctions  to  lend  the  help  of 
the  secular  arm.  At  first  these  orders  were 
tinderstood  to  include  the  royal  dominions 
alone,  and  not  to  extend  to  the  territory  of 
the  nobility.  As  a  natural  consequence,  a 
vast  number  of  new  Christians  took  refuge  on 
the  estates  of  the  Duke  of  Medina,  Sidonia, 
the  Marquis  of  Cadiz,  and  other  grandees 
in  SeviQe  and  Andalusia.  The  Inquisition 
instantly  issued  an  edict  against  these  refugees, 
with  the  most  stringent  threats  of  excommuni*^ 
cation,  and  other  penalties,  upon  all  who 
should  give  harbour  to  the  guilty,  and  refuse 
to  deliver  them  up.  At  Seville  itself,  in  the 
year  1481,  nearly  three  hundred  Conversos 
were  condemned  to  the  flames  as  a  first-fruits 
of  the  new  Inquisition ;  in  other  parts  of  the 


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356  THE  NEW   INQUISITION. 

province,  the  number  amounted  to  two  thou* 
sand,  while  seventeen  thousand  were  con* 
demned  to  minor  penalties.  In  consequence 
of  these  proceedings,  many  Spaniards  left 
iheir  own  country  to  seek  safety  in  Africa, 
Portugal,  or  France. 

The  whole  of  Castile  was  shaken  by  the 
first  effort  of  this  new  tribunal,  yet  no  active 
resistance  was  offered  to  it.  More  difficulty 
was  found  in  introducing  it  into  the  kingdom 
of  Arragon  in  1483.  The  equestrian  order  of 
knights,  who  for  centuries  had  boasted  their 
liberty  and  independence,  the  principal  families 
of  Saragossa,  and  the  Converses  and  their 
descendants,  who  belonged  to  one  or  other  of 
these  parties,  or  were  allied  to  them  by  mar- 
riage,— all  looked  with  equal  horror  upon  this 
iniquitous  establishment.  Their  indignation 
led  them  to  form  associations,  and  conspire 
together  to  risk  a  desperate  stroke,  following 
the  example  set  before  them,  that  the  end 
legalizes  the  means.  When  every  lawM 
opposition,  every  appeal  to  the  privileges  and 
liberties  of  their  country  had  failed;  when 
Torquemada  had  appointed  the  Dominican, 
Graspar  Juglar,  and  Dr.  Pedro  Arbues  d'Avila, 
Inquisitors  of  Arragon,  and  in  consequence 
several  new  Christians  had  been  delivered  up 


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THE  NEW   INQUISITION.  857 

to  be  burned  upon  an  accusation  of  Judaism^ 
it  was  resolved  to  strike  a  desperate  blow. 
A  collection  was  made  among  all  the  Arra* 
gonese  of  Jewish  extraction,  and  an  attempt 
set  on  foot  to  take  the  life  of  Arbues.  On  the 
evening  of  the  13th  of  September,  1485, 
while  he  was  at  prayer  in  the  church,  leaning 
against  a  pillar,  he  was  attacked  by  hired 
assassins,  and  so  severely  wounded,  in  spite  of 
the  armour  he  wore  under  his  garments,  that 
he  died  two  days  after.  This  momentary 
victory  on  the  part  of  its  enemies,  however, 
only  forwarded  the  establishment  of  the  In- 
quisition, not  in  Arragon  alone,  but  through- 
out the  Spanish  dominions.  Scarcely  had  the 
news  spread  in  Saragossa  of  an  attack  upon 
the  Inquisition,  than  the  populace  assembled 
in  a  fury  to  seek  revenge  upon  the  conspirators 
and  the  new  Christians.  A  bloody  contest 
would  probably  have  ensued,  and  was  with 
difficulty  prevented  by  the  young  Archbishop, 
who  rode  among  the  people,  and  promised 
that  the  murderers  should  be  brought  to 
punishment.  Ferdinand  and  Isabella  soon 
after  erected  a  statue  to  Arbues,  and  he  was 
canonized  by  Pope  Alexander  YII.,  in  1664. 
.  The  punishment  of  his  murderers  and  their 


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358  TH£  NEW  ncQuismoK. 

accomplices  soon  followed  the  death  of  Aibuesi 
while  those  who  had  escaped  weie  buiat  in 
effigy.  More  than  two  hundred  victims  fell 
into  the  hands  of  the  Inquisition,  and  many 
&milies  were  thrown  into  mourning.  There 
was  hardly  a  family  of  distinction  at  Sara- 
goftsa  of  which  one  individual  at  least  did  not 
appear  at  the  Auto«da-f%  in  the  habit  of  a 
penitent.  We  will  mention  a  few  among  the 
names  of  those  who  were  more  or  less  com- 
promised by  opposition  to  the  Inquisition^ 
being  privy  to  the  conspiracy  against  Arbues, 
or  rendering  some  service  to  the  conspirators: — 
Don  Jacques,  called  the  In&int  of  Navarre,  a 
near  relation  of  King  Ferdinand ;  Don  Lopes 
Ximenes  de  Urrea,  Count  of  Aranda;  Don 
Blasco  d' Alagon,  Lord  of  Sastago ;  Don  Lope 
de  ReboUedo;  and  Juan  de  Bardaxi,  with 
many  of  their  relations,  and  a  large  body  of 
the  nobility,  knights,  and  gentry  of  Saragossa^ 
Tarazona,  Huesca,  Catalayud,  and  Barbastro. 
Of  these,  Don  Blasco  d' Alagon,  who  had  been 
receiver  of  the  collection  made  by  the  con- 
spirators, owed  to  the  influence  of  his  rank 
and  powerful  connexions  alone,  an  escape  from 
further  punishment  Don  Alonzo  de  la  Caval- 
leria  was  saved  by  an  appeal  to  Eome,  afier 


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THE   NEW   II^QVISITION.  359 

which  all  accusation,  either  of  concealed 
Judaism  or  connexion  with  the  conspirators, 
was  withdrawn^ 

From  this  period,  the  Inquisition  met  with 
no  further  obstacles,  and  for  three  centuries 
it  raged  in  Spain  with  a  vigour  only  abated 
during  the  course  of  the  eighteenth  century^ 
while  the  victims  who  perished  by  its  flames, 
or  in  its  dungeons,  were  without  number. 
The  sum  of  those  burnt  at  the  stake  during 
the  inquisitorship  of  Torquemada  alone, 
amounted  to  more  than  seventeen  thousand, 
of  whom  six  thousand  eight  hundred  and 
sixty  were  burnt  in  effigy,  while  more  than 
ninety  thousand  persons  had  been  condemned 
to  minor  penalties. 

It  would  be  foreign  to  our  purpose  to  trace 
any  further  the  annals  of  this  monstrous  tri- 
bunal^  though  our  attention  is  once  more 
called  to  its  proceedings  in  a  memorable  and 
decisive  moment  for  the  Churches  of  Spain, 
when  the  light  of  the  Reformation  began  to 
spread,  and  descendants  of  Israel  were  again 
its  victims  in  the  new  character  of  Protestants. 

The  voice  which  sounded  £rom  Wittenbei^, 
in  the  beginning  of  the  sixteenth  century, 
penetrated  even  to  the  heart  of  countries  most 


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360  THE   NEW    INaXTISITION. 

nearly  connected  with  the  Papacy,  and  most 
completely  enslaved  by  it  An  English  writer 
has  already  given  a  detailed  account  of  the 
progress  made  in  Spain  by  the  Reformation, 
or  rather  by  the  doctrine  ''  of  justification  by 
feith  and  not  by  works."  *  At  its  first  appear** 
ance  the  Inquisition  opened  wide  its  blood- 
thirsty jaws.  For  fifteen  years  that  tribunal 
was  constantly  engaged  with  criminal  suits  on 
account  of  Lutheran  heresy  at  Seville  and 
VaUadolid. 

In  the  early  years  of  the  reign  of  Philip  11. 
the  peril  from  new  doctrines  was  considered 
most  eminent.  Dr.  Juan  Gil,  Bishop  elect  of 
Tortosa,  was  convicted  of  entertaining  Protest- 
ant views,  and  was  forced,  in  1552,  to  a  recan- 
tation, which  he  afterwards  bitterly  deplored. 
Many  Spaniards  who  shared  his  convictions 
had  emigrated,  among  them  were  Cassiodoros 
of  Reina,  Cyprian  of  Valera,  and  Juan  Perea& 
de  Pineda,  who  introduced  thousands  of  Bibles 
and  catechisms  in  Spanish,  by  means  of  a 
certain  Julian  Hernandez.  The  Inquisition 
having  seized  upon  this  agent,  was  soon  on  the 
track  of  a  multitude  of  Protestants  in  the 

*  M'Crie's  History  of  the  Befonnation  in  Italy  and 
Spain. 


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THE   NEW   INQUISITION.  361 

kingdom,  many  of  whom  were  eminent  for 
learning,  talent,  and  rank.  An  Auto-da^fe  was 
soon  after  held  in  presence  of  the  King,  the 
Coart,  and  a  most  crowded  assembly,  among 
whose  victims  were  included  Dr.  Augustinp 
Cazalla,  a  priest  and  canon  of  Salamanca. 
He  had  been  chaplain  and  almoner  to  the 
Emperor, with  his  brother,  Francisco  de  Cazalla, 
and  their  sister  Beatrice,  all  the  children  of 
Pedro  Cazalla  and  his  wife,  who  were  both  of 
Jewish  descent.  They  were  condemned  to  the 
flames  by  the  Inquisition,  which  also  tore 
from  its  resting-place  and  burnt  the  body  of 
their  mother.  In  1568  the  Archbishop  of 
Toledo,  Don  Bartholomew  of  Carranza,  and 
Miranda,  formerly  deputy  from  the  Spanish 
clergy  to  the  Council  of  Trent,  by  dint  of 
disputation  with  heretics,  had  been  led  to 
convictions  which  brought  upon  him  the 
persecutions  of  the  Inquisition.  Among  other 
accusations  that  were  brought  against  him 
was  the  imputation  of  believing  "that  the 
Lord  Jesus  Christ  has  made  such  entire  satis- 
fistction  for  our  sins,  that  no  further  satisfaction 
on  our  part  is  necessary."  This  archbishop 
had  attended  the  death-bed  of  Charles  Y.  in 
the  convent  of  St.  Just,  and  there  spoken  to 
the  same  effect,  to  the  great  scandal  of  the 

R 


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362  THE   NEW   INQUISITION, 

other  clergy  who  were  present,  the  greater 
part  of  whom  became  his  enemies.^ 

In  the  year  1570  the  doctrines  of  the 
Reformation  appear  to  have  been  completely 
crushed  in  Spain,  and  the  persecutions  of  the 
Inquisition  again  turned  against  the  concealed 
Jews  or  Mahometans.  This  tribunal  exerted 
itself  with  less  success,  and  apparently  with  fiEir 
less  zeal  to  eradicate  infidelity  and  the  teach- 
ing of  the  French  philosophers,  than  it  had 
used  in  its  efforts  to  crush  the  Protestant  faith. 
And  how  could  it  be  otherwise?  when  super- 
stition and  infidelity,  whether  they  allow  it  or 
not,  are  so  closely  allied !  The  Sadducees  and 
Pharisees  agreed  to  crucify  our  Saviour,  and  to 
persecute  his  witnesses  and  disciples.  A 
warning  of  deep  moment  in  these  our  days ! 

The  short-sighted  hatred  of  the  Inquisition 
had  rather  converted  the  Judaism  of  Spain 
into  a  festering  wound  in  the  body  of  the 
nation,  than  effectually  combated  or  uprooted 
it  The  unity  thus  obtained  was  only  in  ex- 
ternals, while  in  secret  the  Jewish  religion 
was  propagated  with  a  system  of  dissimulaticHi 
which  could  not  but  exercise  a  most  pernicious 
influence  on  character,  and  become  the  source 

*  See  Llorente's  History  of  the  Inqtiisitioii,  voL  i!L, 
pp.  188-^15. 


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THE   KEW    INQUISITION.  863 

of  most  revolting  blasphemies  against  Ood 
and  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  Unanimous  testi- 
mony is  borne  both  by  Jewish  and  Spanish 
writers  to  the  fact,  that  there  is  scarcely  a 
family  of  note  in  Spain  or  Portugal  which  is 
not  descended,  either  in  the  male  or  female 
line,  from  Jews,  who  had  embraced  Christianity 
by  conviction  or  from  other  motives. 

Is  it,  then,  surprising  that  the  religion  their 
fathers  had  professed  for  so  many  ages  should 
possess  great  attractions  for  their  descendants 
while  placed  in  the  midst  of  a  Church  whose 
idolatry  and  saint-worship  the  Israelite  was 
as  much  justified  in  ccmdemning,  as  he  was 
wrong  in  rejecting  the  sufifering  Saviour,  who 
had  been  foretold  by  his  own  prophets? 
When,  in  addition  to  this,  there  sprung  from 
the  midst  of  the  Papacy,  and  flourished  in 
Spain,  a  sect  whose  doctrines  inculcated  "  men- 
tid  reserve,"  "simulation,**  and  "hypocrisy,*' 
in  matters  of  religion,  is  it  wonderfril  that  the 
Jews  of  Spain  should  also  have  had  recourse 
to  rabbinical  subtilties  to  reconcile  an  outward 
profession  of  Chriatianity  with  an  inward  love 
and  secret  performance  of  the  Mosaic  worship  ? 
Hence  arose  the  fearful  evils  which  are  said 
yet  to  exist  in  Spain,  posts  of  dignity  in  the 
Church,  the  priesthood,  and  the  cloister  occtl- 

R  2 


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364  BANISHMENT   OF   THE   JEWS. 

pied  by  men  who  in  heart  are  Jews,  and  who 
meet  at  stated  seasons  to  mourn  over  and 
abjure  their  outward  profession  of  the  Eomish 
faith,  and  to  curse,  with  fearful  imprecations, 
the  memory  of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella.  No  1 
it  is  "not  by  might  nor  by  power"  that 
Israel's  conversion  will  be  brought  about, 
"  but  by  my  Spirit,  saith  the  Lord,"  the  God 
of  Israel,  his  Redeemer. 

The  Inquisition  itself,  however  unscrupu- 
lously supported,  seemed  but  a  half-measure 
for  carrying  out  the  system  which  had  given 
rise  to  it,  as  long  as  there  remained  a  single 
Jew  in  the  kingdom  of  Spain.  And  yet  twelve 
years  intervened  between  the  introduction  of 
the  new  Inquisition  against  concealed  Jews 
and  the  edict  of  banishment  passed  upon  those 
who  were  so  openly.  During  the  interval  the 
latter  were  always  on  good  terms  with  the 
Govemmeiit,  and  even  admitted  to  high  offices 
at  the  court  of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella.  Yet 
they  seem  to  have  themselves  given  some 
cause  for  suspicion,  for  complaint,  and  even 
for  fear.  For  example,  in  the  year  1480, 
when  the  Cardinal  of  Mendoza  had  published 
a  catechism  for  the  use  of  baptized  Jews,  there 
appeared  from  the  pen  of  a  Jew  a  virulent 
attack  upon  the  Boman  Catholic  religion,  as 


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BANISHMENT   OF   THE   JEWS.  365 

well  as  upon  the  Catholic  sovereigns.  The 
Israelites  were  also  accused  of  endeavouring 
to  make  proselytes,  not  only  among  the  new 
Christians,  but  among  the  old,  whose  descent 
could  not  be  traced  to  Jewish  parents,  and  seem 
to  have  succeeded  in  their  efforts,  especially 
in  Andalusia.  They  were  at  that  time  for- 
midable by  their  number,  their  riches,  their 
influence,  and  their  relationship  with  the 
Conversos  in  all  parts  of  the  country,  as  well 
as  by  the  influence  they  might  acquire  in 
allying  themselves  with  an  infidel  or  hostile 
power. 

A  Spanish  author  of  Jewish  race  has  re- 
marked, that  if  the  Israelites  had  not  kept 
their  eyes  fixed  on  Palestine  alone  as  their 
own  country,  they  might  successfully  have 
overturned  the  Spanish  government.  The 
edict  for  their  expulsion,  which  had  long  been 
threatened,  was  finally  promulgated  in  the 
year  1492.  This  took  place  immediately  after 
the  reduction  of  the  last  Moslem  kingdom  in 
the  Peninsula.  From  Granada,  its  capital, 
was  dated  the  decree  which  forbade  any  Jew 
by  religion  to  remain  in  the  Spanish  dominions 
after  a  period  of  four  months.  They  were  not 
to  carry  away  gold,  silver,  or  jewels,  beyond  a 
certain   amount;    but  they  might  sell  their 


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366  EXPULSION   OF  THE  JEWS 

houses  and  lands,  and  export  the  value  in 
bills  of  exchange. 

The  news  of  this  edict  came  upon  the  Jews 
like  a  thunder-clap.  They  were  soon  reduced 
to  the  verge  of  despair,  when  every  appeal  to 
the  compassion  of  the  King  and  Queen  had 
been  defeated  by  the  opposition  of  Torque- 
mada.  They  even  offered  immense  sums  of 
money,  as  a  price  for  remaining  in  a  country 
where  they  had  already  been  established  for 
so  many  centuries.  But  the  merciless  Torque^ 
mada  presented  himself  before  the  King,  with 
a  crucifix  in  his  hand,  and  asked,  for  how 
many  pieces  of  silver  more  than  Judas  he 
would  sell  his  Saviour  to  the  Jews) 

This  barbarous  mandate  was  put  in  force  by 
equally  barbarous  measures.  The  permission 
which  was  granted  to  the  exiles  to  dispose 
of  their  property  became,  in  reality,  a  mere 
mockery,  for  in  the  great  need  of  the  moment, 
and  the  short  space  of  time  allowed,  to  use  the 
words  of  a  cotemporary,  "  a  house  was  sold 
for  an  ass,  and  a  vineyard  for  a  piece  of  linen/' 
Amidst  all  this  iniquity  and  ill-treatment,  the 
unhappy  exiles,  with  their  wives  and  children, 
were  transported  by  ships  to  the  coast  of 
Africa.  To  many  of  them  the  distress  was  so 
insupportable  that  their  long-tried  constancy 


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FROM   SPAIN.  867 

gave  way,  and  they  returned  to  Spain  to 
demand  baptism,  and  expose  themselves  as 
New  Christians  to  the  severities  of  the  Inqui- 
sition. Hence  arises,  in  part  at  least,  the 
different  computations  that  have  been  made  of 
their  numbers,  which  some  have  stated  as 
amounting  to  800,000,  others  to  300,000, 
while  a  Spanish  statistic  of  the  population 
numbers  the  exiled  Jews  at  27,000.  In  this 
latter  computation  we  must  not  reckon  those 
who  returned  to  Spain,  or  any  of  those  who 
subsequently  quitted  the  country  by  degrees, 
according  as  the  fury  of  the  Inquisition 
was  more  or  less  on  the  alert  against  the 
Converses.  In  after-times,  during  the  six- 
teenth and  seventeenth  centuries,  many  found 
a  secure  and  peaceful  asylum  in  the  Protestant 
Netherlands.  A  Jewish  author  of  Amsterdam 
thus  speaks  of  these  refugees :  '^  Many  of  the 
canons,  inquisitors,  and  bishops  in  Spain  are 
of  Jewish  descent;  some  are  still  Jews  at 
heart,  though,  for  the  sake  of  temporal  advan- 
tages, they  feign  themselves  to  be  Christians ; 
some  of  these  at  times  repent  and  leave  the 
country  as  best  they  can.  In  this  city  of 
Amsterdam,  and  in  other  countries,  there  are 
Augustins,  Franciscans,  Dominicans,  and 
Jesuits,  who  have  cast  off  idolatry.     In  Spain 


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368  EXPULSION    OP   THE   JEWS 

there  are  a  great  many  distinguished  bishops 
and  monks,  whose  parents,  brothers,  and 
sisters,  live  in  this  town  and  elsewhere,  where 
they  can  profess  Judaism." 

Among  the  thousands  and  ten  thousands 
of  Jews  who  quitted  Spain  in  consequence  of 
the  decree  of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  the 
most  highly  gifted  in  rank  and  fortune  first 
sought  refuge  in  Portugal.  John  II.,  who 
was  at  that  time  King,  afforded  them  an  im- 
mediate asylum  and  fair  privileges,  on  the 
payment  of  a  tolerably  high  capitation  tax. 
Multitudes  of  these  fugitives  established  them- 
selves in  the  frontier  cities  of  Braganza, 
Alisanda,  Elvas,  and  others.  At  Oporto  the 
spacious  street  of  San  Miguel  was  given  to 
thirty  Jewish  families,  as  a  place  of  residence. 
Immanuel  Aboab,  author  of  the  "Nomology," 
remembered  having  seen,  in  his  childhood,  the 
synagogues  which  belonged  to  the  Jewish  exiles 
from  Spain  in  that  city. 

It  is  a  mistake  to  assert,  as  some  writers 
have  done,*  that  the  number  of  Jews  in 
Portugal,  before  the  arrival  of  the  Spanish 
exiles,  was  small,  and  of  no  importance;  for  here, 
as  in  other  parts  of  the  Peninsula,  frequent 
mention  is  made  of  them  in  its  chronicles  and 
♦  See  Jost,  vii.,  89,  90. 


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FROM   SPAIN.  369 

histories.  Though  Castile  and  Andalusia  may 
boast  of  being  the  most  ancient  resort  of  the 
Jewish  nation  in  this  part  of  the  world,  yet  in 
Portugal,  also,  they  were  early  settled,  and 
their  influence  was  great  in  the  earlier  periods 
of  the  monarchy.  Under  Alphonso  II.  and 
his  successors,  from  the  thirteenth  century  to 
the  fifteenth,  almost  without  exception,  the 
Jews  were  treated  with  much  consideration. 
Indeed,  Pope  Gregory  II.,  among  other  com- 
plaints against  King  Alphonso,  with  whom 
he  was  at  variance,  reproached  him  for  nomi- 
nating Jews  in  preference  to  Christians  to  the 
oflices  of  state.  There  is  no  doubt,  that,  under 
this  king,  and  more  than  one  of  his  successors, 
the  highest  positions  in  the  State  were  filled 
by  Jews,  and,  as  in  Castile  and  Arragon,  the 
Cortes  urged  remonstrances  which  were  but 
little  regarded,  and  the  prohibitions  they  ex- 
torted were  soon  set  aside.  We  have  already 
mentioned  the  actual  relationship  to  the 
Jewish  nation  in  Portugal  borne  by  King 
John  I.,  the  father  of  Don  Duarte.* 

The  Jews  in   Portugal  enjoyed  extensive 

*  See  an  interesting  dissertation,  "  Sobre  os  Judeos  em 
Portugal,"    by  Joaquim  Jose  Ferreira   Grordo,   in  the 
eighth  volume  of  the  **  Memorias  da  Academia  Real  das 
Sciencias  de  Lisboa.     1823." 
B  3 


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370  THE  JEWS  IN  POBTUGAL. 

privileges  as  a  completely  separate  portion  of 
the  community,  yet  on  nearly  an  eqaal  footing 
with  the  Christians.  Their  Chief  Rabbi  was 
nowhere  so  highly  considered,  or  his  position 
more  carefully  determined  by  the  legisla- 
ture. King  John  I.  gave  his  sanction,  at  the 
request  of  Micer  Moses,  his  chief  physician, 
to  a  bull  of  Clement  VI.,  confirmed  by  Boni- 
face IX.  in  1389,  granting  to  the  Jews  free 
permission  to  celebrate  their  feasts,  practise 
their  ceremonies,  and  continue  the  full  exer- 
cise of  their  religious  worship,  notwithstand- 
ing the  violence  and  opposition  of  hot*headed 
fanatics. 

Until  the  reigns  of  John  IL  and  Don 
Manuel,  we  scarcely  find  any  attempt  to  per- 
secute the  Jews  recorded.  From  time  to  time 
the  clergy  and  representatives  of  the  people 
demanded  an  enforcement  of  the  ancient  edicts 
requiring  the  Jews  and  Moors  to  wear  a  dis- 
tinctive mark  on  their  clothes.  To  Alphonso  V. 
complaints  were  made  of  the  magnificence 
of  their  style  of  living,  and  the  luxury  they 
displayed  in  silken  garments,  fine  horses,  and 
splendid  arms. 

During  the  period  of  tranquillity  which  the 
Jews  of  Portugal  enjoyed  before  the  end  of 
the  fifteenth  century,  they  applied  themselves 


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THE  JBW8   IN  POBTUOAL.  371 

diligently,  not  only  to  theology  and  Hebrew 
literature,  but  also  to  the  study  and  investiga* 
tion  of  science.  A  learned  Portuguese,  speak- 
ing of  his  own  (country  in  particular,  says, 
that  the  inhabitants  of  that  part  of  the  Penin- 
sula were  indebted  to  the  Jews  for  their 
earliest  instruction  in  philosophy,  medicine, 
botany,  astronomy,  and  cosmography.*  Al- 
phonso  lY.,  of  Portugal,  in  the  fourteenth 
century  (1325 — 1357),  trod  in  the  steps  of 
his  maternal  grandfitther,  Alphonso  X.,  of 
Castile,  and  engaged  with  zeal  in  the  study 
of  astronomy,  in  which  he  was  also  assisted  by 
learned  Jews  and  Arabs.  It  was  more  espe* 
daily  in  the  reign  of  Don  Duarte,  that  the 
science  of  navigation  made  rapid  advances 
during  the  repeated  voyages  of  the  illustrious 
seaman.  Prince  Henry.  The  King  himself 
took  great  interest  in  all  studies  connected 
with  these  voyages  of  discovery.  He  enter- 
tained at  court  the  Hebrew  astronomer, 
Abraham  Guedetha,  as  cosmographer  to  the 
King,  who  combined  with  a  knowledge  of 
astronomy,  not  only  its  usual  accompaniment 

*  Antonio  Bibeiro  dos  Santos,  da  Litteratura  Sagrada 
dos  Judeos  Portaguezes,  in  the  ''Memorias  da  Academia 
Real  das  Sciencias  de  Lisbaa,**  torn.  IL,  p.  2S6. 


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372  THE   JEWS   IN   POETUOAL. 

of  astrology,  but  also  an  extensive  acquaint- 
ance with  geography.  The  principal  coun-* 
cillors  of  John  II.,  when  undertaking  the 
expeditions  that  led  to  the  discovery  of  a  new 
way  to  India  round  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope, 
were  the  two  Bishops  of  Viseu  and  Ceuta, 
and  three  Jewish  physicians,  Jos6,  Bodrigo, 
and  Moses.  Four  of  these  learned  men  were 
also  engaged  in  making  charts  to  assist  the 
two  celebrated  travellers  in  Abyssinia,  Pero 
de  Covilhao  and  Alphonso  de  Pavia.  These 
four  councillors  have  been  reproached  with 
dissuading  the  King  from  accepting  the  pro- 
posals of  Christopher  Columbus.  To  counter- 
balance this  error,  we  may  state  that  the  first 
idea  of  the  possibility  of  finding  a  passage  to 
India  was  suggested  by  the  observations  of 
two  Portuguese  Jews,  Rabbi  Abraham  de 
Beja  and  Joseph  Zaphatero  de  Lamego,  who 
had  been  sent  by  King  John  II.  to  explore 
Ormuz,  and  the  coasts  of  the  Bed  Sea.  An 
investigation  as  to  the  best  means  of  encou- 
raging navigation,  not  along  the  coast  only, 
but  in  the  open  sea,  was  confided  by  the 
Government,  during  the  reign  of  this  prince, 
to  the  celebrated  German,  Martin  de  Behaim, 
then  established  in  the  country,  together  with 
the  before-mentioned  Bodrigo  and  Jos6. 


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THE   JEWS   IN   PORTUGAL.  373 

The  celebrated  Don  Manuel,  surnamed  the 
Lucky,  who  succeeded  to  the  throne  of 
Portugal  after  the  death  of  John  II.,  earned 
still  more  renown  by  the  interest  he  took  in  the 
sciences  of  astronomy  and  navigation.  In  his 
reign  Yasca  de  Gama  first  accomplished  a 
passage  to  India  round  the  Cape,  which  con- 
tributed to  open  a  new  era  in  the  history  of 
the  world,  as  well  as  in  that  of  commerce. 
This  monarch,  who  finally  banished  the  Jews 
much  against  his  own  inclination,  bestowed 
honour  upon  many  of  that  nation,  both  before 
and  after  their  compulsory  baptism,  and  con- 
ferred upon  them  many  privileges. 

In  their  own  literature  and  theology,  less 
progress  was  made  by  the  Jews  of  Portugal 
than  those  of  Spain ;  fewer  names  of  distinc- 
tion have  been  recorded,  and  Hebrew  poets 
were  rare  in  that  portion  of  the  Peninsula. 
Yet  academies  and  learned  men  were  not 
wanting,  and  the  rabbinical  school  of  Lisbon 
early  gained  distinction  among  the  many 
Jewish  institutions  which  sprung  from  the 
mother  school  of  Cordova.  It  was  gradually 
increased  by  numerous  fugitives,  who  quitted 
Spain  before  the  final  catastrophe  in  1492, 
compelled  by  local  persecution,  or  other 
causes,  to  escape  from  Castile  and  Arragon. 


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874  THB  JEWS   IN  POBTUOAL. 

Daring  the  five  years  that  elapsed  between 
their  expulsion  from  Spain,  and  their  banish- 
ment from  Portugal,  Lisbon  became,  for  a 
moment,  the  centre-point  of  Jewish  science 
and  civilization. 

It  is  worthy  of  remark,  that  the  learned 
Jews  who  flourished  in  Portugal  during  the 
fourteenth  and  fifteenth  centuries  sprang, 
almost  without  exception,  from  one  or  two 
families.  Such  families,  for  example,  as  the 
Schem  Toys,  the  Yachias,  and  the  Abarbanels, 
produced  theologians  and  rabbinical  or  cab* 
balistic  writers,  both  in  Hebrew  and  Arabic. 
The  two  last»mentioned  families  boast  both  a 
long  series  of  learned  and  distinguished  an- 
cestors, and  a  descent  from  the  family  of 
David.  Numerous  Yachias,  who  have  distin- 
guished themselves  by  their  knowledge  of 
Hebrew  and  the  theology  of  their  nation,  are 
fiuned,  not  only  in  Portugal,  but  also  later 
than  1457,  at  Constantinople,  and  in  other 
cities. 

The  distinguished  author,  Don  Isaac  Abar- 
banel,  was  bom  at  Lisbon,  in  the  year  1437,  of 
a  family  from  Seville  who  had  long  been 
established  there.  While  councillor  to  King 
Alphonso  v.,  he  was  as  celebrated  for  his 
enlightened  views  and  knowledge  of  public 


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DON   ISAAC   ABAKBANEL.  375 

affitin  as  for  his  great  excellence  as  a  Hebrew 
oommentator  and  expoander.*  After  the 
death  of  that  monarch,  he  was  suspected  of 
having  taken  part  in  the  conspiracy  of  die 
Duke  of  Braganza  against  his  son  and  sue* 
cesser,  John  II.,  and  was  compelled,  in  1482, 
to  leave  Portugal  suddenly,  to  escape  the 
effects  of  an  accusation,  which  he  declared  to 
be  entirely  without  foundation*  He  was  not 
only  welcomed  by  the  Jews  of  Castile  and 
their  learned  men,  but  also  favourably  re- 
ceived by  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  who  con- 
fided to  him  and  Don  Abraham  Senor  the 
administration  of  their  financial  affairs.  This, 
however,  did  not  procure  him  any  exception 
from  the  great  tribulation  which  fell  upon  the 
Jews  in  Spain  a  few  years  after.  Abarbanel  is 
said  to  have  been  deputed  with  the  proposals 
made  by  the  Jews  to  the  Catholic  sovereigns, 
which  Torquemada  so  boldly  and  adroitly 
turned  aside.  Abarbanel  shared  the  fate  of 
his  nation,  and  was  banished  from  Spain  on 
account  of  his  religion,  as  he  had  been  before 
from  Portugal  for  political  reasons.  Not  ven- 
turing to  return  thither,  he  sought  refuge  in 


•  See  the  Bibliothecae  of  Wolf,  De  Castro,  De  Rossi, 
and  Barbofia. 


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376  THE    JEWS    IN   PORTUGAL. 

the  kingdom  of  Naples,  where  many  of  the 
Jewish  exiles  had  already  found  an  asylum, 
and  where  they  had  heen  known  and  tolerated 
for  ages.  There  he  was  again  employed  at 
the  Court,  and  faithfully  served  King  Ferdi- 
nand and  his  son.  Alphonso  II.,  until  the 
invasion  of  the  French  under  Charles  VIII. 
Abarbanel  shared  in  this  misfortune  also ;  he 
accompanied  Alphonso  to  Sicily,  and  after  his 
death  went  to  Corsica.  He  ended  his  days  at 
Venice,  having  been  employed  by  that  Re- 
public in  settling  some  differences  with  the 
Crown  of  Portugal.  He  was  buried  with 
great  honour  at  the  Jewish  cemetery  of  Padua. 
His  numerous  theological  writings  are  mostly 
the  fruit  of  those  days  of  retirement  which  his 
own  and  his  country's  misfortunes  afforded 
him.  His  proud  and  ambitious  spirit  led  him 
to  seek  by  preference  the  worldly  duties  of  a 
politician,  while  he  gave  free  vent  to  his  invete- 
rate hatred  against  the  persecutors  of  his  people, 
and,  alas !  against  the  Christian  religion  also, 
in  his  works  of  Theology  and  Rabbinical  Ju- 
daism. He  has  left  an  elaborate  Commentary 
on  the  greater  part  of  the  Old  Testament, 
especially  Moses  and  the  prophets, — a  treatise 
on  the  articles  of  the  modern  Jewish  faith, 
called  "  Rosch  Emouna,"  and  a  work  on  the 


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THE   JEWS   IN    PORTUGAL.  377 

unfulfilled  prophecies  of  the  restoration  and 
glory  of  Israel,  called,  "Maschmiah  Yeschuah," 
&c.  A  chronicle  he  had  written,  of  all  the 
misfortunes  which  have  happened  to  the 
people  of  God  from  the  earliest  days,  has  heen 
lost* 

In  viewing  Abarbanel's  character  as  a 
whole,  we  must  class  him  rather  among  the 
brilliant  intellects,  than  the  noble  characters 
of  the  dispersed  of  Israel.  His  sons  took  part 
in  his  misfortunes  and  his  wanderings ;  they 
also  shared  his  fame,  especially  the  eldest, 
Don  Jehudah,  better  known  as  Leo  Hebreus, 
the  author  of  a  philosophical  treatise  upon 
"  Love,"  in  Italian,  which  has  since  been 
often  translated.  Don  Samuel,  another  of 
Abarbanel's  sonSj-f  appears  to  have  embraced 
the  Christian  faith.  Descendants  of  this  illus- 
trious family  long  continued  to  exist  in  the 

*  In  judging  the  writingB  of  Abarbanel,  the  estimate 
of  their  value,  so  well  expressed  by  the  learned  Emperor 
Ck>nstantine,  should  be  carefully  noted  :  *'  Ex  Abrabanele 
plura  quam  ex  omnibus  Hebraeorum  doctoribus  addisci 
potest,  quippe,  si  quid  in  sacris  litteris  obscurius  sit  (nisi 
contra  veritatem  Christianam  cum  suis  obnitatur),  exar- 
ante."  Don  Nicolas  Antonio  says  of  him,  "  Si  natura 
eum  expendas,  ingeniosissimus ;  si  a  studiis,  doctissimus ; 
si  ab  industriS,  totus  labor." 

•f  Memorias  da  Academia  de  Lisboa,  ii.,  399,  400. 


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878  THE   JEWS   IN  PORTUGAL. 

synagogues  of  Amsterdam,  Hamburgh,  and 
London. 

To  return  to  the  Jews  in  Portugal.  King 
John  II.  having,  in  1492,  admitted  to  his 
dominions  a  certain  portion  of  the  Jewish 
exiles,  began,  the  following  year,  to  enter 
more  fully  into  the  views  of  the  Catholic 
sovereigns.  All  who  arrived  in  the  country 
beyond  a  certain  number  of  families,  with 
whom  he  had  made  an  agreement,  were  from 
that  time  looked  upon  as  slaves ;  their  children, 
torn  from  the  hearts  of  their  parents,  or 
snatched  from  the  bosom  of  their  mother, 
were  transported  to  the  Isle  of  St.  Thomas,  and 
elsewhere.*  Some  check  was  put  upon  this 
horrible  cnielty  by  the  failing  health  of  the 
King,  and  for  other  reasons.  It  ceased  en- 
tirely when  Don  Manuel,  the  cousin  and 
brother-in-law  of  John,  who  died  mthout 
leaving  an  heir,  succeeded  him  on  the  throne 
of  Portugal.  This  prince  began  his  reign 
with  such  generous  and  merciful  decrees  in 

*  Portuguese  writers  differ  from  the  Jewish  annalists, 
especially  from  Usqae,  in  laying  the  blame  of  this  ill- 
treatment  exclusiyelj  on  the  people,  and  not  on  the  King 
himself.  Different  accounts  are  also  given  of  the  condi- 
tions upon  which  King  John  11.  granted,  for  a  time, 
hospitality  to  the  Spanish  fugitives. 


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THE   JEWS   IN   POETUGAU  379 

favour  of  the  Jewish  exiles,  that,  notwithstand^ 
ing  the  persecution  they  soon  after  endured 
from  him,  his  memory  has  always  retained  the 
esteem  of  their  descendants,  as  shown  by  the 
surname  of  El  Rey  Judeo,  given  him  in  some 
family  traditions. 

It  was  entirely  for  worldly  and  political 
motives  that  Don  Manuel,  in  1497,  so  entirely 
changed  his  line  of  conduct.  When  he  sought 
in  marriage  the  Infanta  Isabella,  daughter  of 
the  Catholic  sovereigns,  and  widow  of  Alfonso, 
the  only  son  of  John  H.,  two  conditions  were 
imposed  by  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  without 
the  fulfilment  of  which  the  In&nta  herself 
positively  declared  she  could  not  accept  the 
proposals  of  the  new  King  of  Portugal.  These 
were,  a  treaty  with  Spain  in  preference  to 
France,  with  which  country  Portugal  had 
hitherto  maintained  a  peaceful  alliance;  and 
the  banishment  of  the  Jews  from  this  country, 
as  well  as  from  Spain.  King  Manuel,  in  the 
warmth  of  his  affection,  agreed  to  both  the 
proposals.  Thus,  against  the  advice  of  the 
King's  most  able  councillors,  a  choice  was 
offered  to  the  whole  body  of  the  Jewish 
people  in  Portugal,  either  to  receive  baptism, 
or  leave  the  country  for  ever.  The  conse- 
quences were  the  same  as  in  Spain.     The 


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380  THE   JEWS    IN   PORTUGAL. 

Jewish  population  was  divided.  Some,  with 
their  &inilies,  abandoned  for  ever  the  soil  of 
Portugal;  others,  not  fewer  in  number,  em- 
braced, or  feigned  to  embrace,  the  Roman 
Catholic  faith.  Among  those  baptized  by 
force,  we  must  reckon  many  children  under 
fourteen  years  of  age,  who  were  taken  from 
their  parents,  but  committed  to  the  guardian- 
ship of  Portuguese  families,  to  be  brought  up 
in  the  Christian  faith,  according  to  their 
station  in  society.  Meanwhile,  the  measures 
taken  by  Don  Manuel  left  the  new  Christians 
an  easy  opportunity  for  adhering  in  secret  to 
their  ancient  religion;  inasmuch  as  the  Go- 
vernment pledged  itself  not  to  introduce  the 
Inquisition  for  the  first  twenty  years.  This 
term  was  prolonged  for  another  twenty  during 
the  reign  of  John  III.,  the  son  and  successor 
of  Don  Manuel.  The  Government  interfered 
but  slightly  with  the  Jewish  inhabitants  of 
their  East  Indian  colonies.  Don  Manuel  him- 
self protected  the  new  Christians  in  every  way 
in  Portugal.  He  appointed  them  to  the 
offices  of  the  State,  invited  them  to  his  Court, 
and  very  severely  punished  the  instigators  of  a 
tumult,  raised  against  them  by  the  populace  of 
Lisbon  in  1606. 

In  the  reign  of  his  successor,  Rome  and  the 


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THE   JEWS    IN   PORTUGAL.  381 

partisans   of  the  Inquisition   began  to  take 
alarm ;  for  in  Portugal  also  the  introduction 
of   Protestant    doctrines    had    excited    their 
wrath.     The  year  1536  witnessed  the  intro- 
duction  of  the  Inquisition  upon  the  Portu- 
guese territory,  and  by  its  means  a  distinction 
was  effected  between  old  and  new  Christians. 
It  did  not,  however,  prevent  many  of  the  latter 
remaining  Jews  in  secret,  and  even  propagat- 
ing their  own  religion.     They  were  known  to 
be  Israelites,  and  acknowledged  as  such  not- 
withstanding   the    rage    of    the    Inquisition, 
which  broke  out  upon  them  at  intervals.     In 
the  dissensions  which  occurred  at  the  death  of 
the  Cardinal  King,  Don  Henry  (1580),  the 
new  Christians  formed  an  influential  party  in 
favour  of  Don   Antonio,   Prior  of  Crato,   a 
natural  son  of  the  infant,  Don  Louis,  by  a 
Jewish  mother.     In  1660,  soon  after  Portugal 
had  asserted  her  independence,  a  singular  con- 
spiracy was  formed  conjointly  by   the  new 
Christians  and  the  Inquisitors,  in  favour  of  the 
Spanish   Government  against    the    house   of 
Braganza,  by  whom  the  former  had  not  been 
well  treated.     One  of  their  body  was  executed 
in  consequence  of  this  insurrection.     The  dis- 
tinction   between   old    and    new  Christians, 
which   Don    Manuel    had    endeavoured    to 


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882  THE   JEWS   IN   PORTUGAL. 

abolish,  and  which,  two  centuries  after,  was 
again  condemned  by  Don  Luis  da  Cunha,  then 
minister  of  state,  was  officially  prohibited 
under  the  administration  of  the  Marquis  de 
Pombal,  said  by  some  to  have  himself,  by 
birth,  belonged  to  them.  As  lately  as  the 
eighteenth  century.  Lord  Galloway,  when 
ambassador  at  the  court  of  Portugal,  said  in 
joke,  "  that  the  whole  nation  was  divided  into 
two  parts,  of  which  one  awaited  the  return  of 
King  Sebastian,  and  the  other  the  coming  of 
the  Messiah/'  *  A  late  English  traveller  has 
made  the  remark,  that  truly  Israelitish  features 
are  discernible  in  more  than  half  of  the  popu* 
lation  of  Portugal. 

We  cannot  but  notice  one  striking  fact  in 
relation  to  the  banishment  and  ill-treatment  of 
the  Jewish  people.  Ere  a  century  had  passed 
the  flower  of  the  youthftil  nobility  of  Portugal, 
with  the  King  Sebastian  at  their  head,  were 
slain  or  made  prisoners  on  the  same  coast  of 
Africa,  to  which  the  unfortunate  Jews  had 

*  King  Sebastian  nerer  returned  to  Portugal,  after 
his  diBastrous  expedition  against  the  Moors  of  Africa,  in 
1578,  where  he  doubtless  lost  his  life  on  the  same  field  of 
battle  with  the  flower  of  his  nobility.  The  conunon 
people  in  Portugal  have  persisted  for  two  centuries,  and 
even  now  still  persist^  in  looking  for  the  return  of  this 
prince. 


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THB  8SPHAEDIM  IN  BASBART.     383 

not  long  before  been  so  barbarously  driven. 
Happy,  by  comparison,  was  the  lot  of  those 
among  the  Christian  captives  who  fell  into  the 
hands  of  African  Israelites,  from  whom  alone 
they'  received  any  compassion  and  assistance 
in  their  misfortunes. 

A  Jewish  writer  of  the  present  day,  not 
himself  a  descendant  of  the  Sephardim,  has 
said,  ^^  that  of  all  the  exiles  and  all  the  mis- 
fortunes which  have  lighted  on  the  head  of 
Israel,  since  his  crown  has  fallen,  none  was  so 
terrible,  so  eventful,  or  so  fatal,  as  their  expul« 
sion  from  the  Peninsula."  *  In  fact,  the  dis* 
persion  caused  by  this  catastrophe  is,  in  some 
respecta,  even  more  remarkable  than  that 
which  followed  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem, 
because  this  second  dispersion  speedily  scat- 
tered the  Sephardim  also  over  every  quarter 
of  the  globe.  Shortly  after  the  edicts  of  1492 
and  1497,  Jews  and  new  Christians  were  to 
be  met  with  in  the  newly-discovered  territories 
of  America,  both  in  the  Spanish  possessions 
and  in  Brazil,  which  had  fallen  to  the  share  of 
the  Portuguese.  In  Africa,  Asia,  and  the 
Turkish  Empire,  their  families  and  synagogues 
have  been  established,  and  have  continued  to 

*  Yorlesiingen  uber  die  neuere  Geschichte  der  Judea 
Lowisohn.    Yienna,  1820. 


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384     THE  BEPHARDIH  IN  BARBARY. 

the  present  day,  entirely  apart  from  all  other 
races  of  their  nation.  We  will  now  give  a 
brief  account  of  the  countries  in  which  they 
have  chiefly  established  themselves,  and  have 
remained  the  longest,  ending  with  the  country 
which  has  become  a  new  central  point  for  the 
dispersed  of  Judah, — the  United  Provinces  of 
the  Netherlands. 

From  time  immemorial  Africa  has  been  an 
eventM  country  to  Israel.  Egypt,  where  their 
natibnal  history  first  began,  was  a  resort  for 
many  of  the  nation  in  the  times  of  the  Grecian 
and  Koman  monarchies,  as  well  as  in  the 
Middle  Ages,  while  under  the  sway  of  Maho- 
medanism.  From  the  days  of  Maimonides, 
Cairo,  Damietta,  and  other  Egyptian  towns, 
have  been  celebrated  for  their  rabbinical 
seminaries  and  Talmudic  learning.  We  cui- 
not  doubt  that  a  great  number  of  the  Spanish 
exiles  sought  refuge  in  a  country  already  re- 
sorted to  by  numerous  caravans  of  Jewish 
pilgrims,  visiting  the  synagogue  of  that  spot 
which  popular  tradition  fixes  upon  as  the 
birthplace  of  their  great  lawgiver.  In  the 
western  parts  of  Africa,  especially  in  the  states 
of  Morocco,  the  exiled  Jews  settled  in  great 
numbers.  A  communication  had  long  been 
kept  up  between  Spain  and  that  country ;  and 


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THE   SEPHARDIM   IN    BARBABT.  385 

now  that  an  abode  on  the  north  side  of  the 
straits  of  Gibraltar  was  prohibited,  nothing 
was  more  natural  than  their  migration  to  the 
opposite  coast.  At  Tripoli,  Tunis,  Algiers, 
Mequinez,  Oran,  Fez,  and  in  the  whole  empire 
of  Morocco,  the  Jews  from  Spain  found  nume* 
rous  synagogues,  some  of  which  were  noted 
for  their  men  of  learning.  Yet,  even  here 
the  Jewish  population  from  the  Peninsula  has 
kept  itself  aloof  and  separate  both  from  the 
Jews  of  Barbary  and  from  the  European  or 
Frank  Jews.  They  have  never  attained  in 
Africa  the  high  position  they  had  held  in 
Spain,  or  have  subsequently  reached  in  many 
parts  of  Europe,  Though  allowed  liberty  of 
conscience,  and  even  protected  by  the  Em- 
peror, and  the  Barbary  Beys  and  Deys,  they 
were  exposed  both  to  the  immense  exactions 
of  the  rulers  and  to  the  ill-treatment  of  a 
fanatic  populace.  They  were  rigorously  com- 
pelled to  wear  the  black  turban,  and  different 
coloured  boots,  that  they  might  not  be  con- 
founded with  the  Mahomedan  population* 
Thus  many  circumstances  concurred  to  depress 
the  condition  of  that  portion  of  the  Jewish 
population  of  Spain  who  settled  in  Barbary. 
Here,  however,  as  elsewhere,  some  individual^ 
of  that  nation  were  employed  by  the  sovereigns 


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386      THE  8EPHARDIM  IN  BARBART. 

of  the  country  on  important  missions,  and  in 
affairs  of  state.  Towards  the  end  of  the  suc- 
teenth  century,  Don  Samuel  Palache  was  sent 
by  the  Emperor  of  Morocco  as  his  agent  to 
the  Hague,  where  he  died,  in  1616,  and  was 
followed  to  the  grave  by  the  Prince  Maurice, 
the  States-General,  and  the  Councillors  of  the 
United  Provinces.  In  1642,  a  Spanish  Israelite, 
named  Don  Joseph  Toledano,  was  charged  by 
Muley  Ismael,  the  Prince  of  Morocco,  to  con* 
elude  a  treaty  of  alliance  with  the  Republic  of 
the  Netherlands ;  the  same  Israelite  had  before 
rendered  important  services  to  this  prince, 
when  he  first  succeeded  his  brother,  Muley 
Mahomet.  Under  the  rule  of  both  these  bro- 
thers, the  Jews  and  their  synagogues  enjoyed 
peculiar  prosperity,  and  we  find  mention  made 
of  a  prince  of  the  captivity  at  their  head.  The 
affairs  of  finance  and  the  negotiations  with 
European  powers  were  almost  entirdly  en* 
trusted  to  the  Jews.  In  1775  an  Israditei 
named  Masahod  de  la  Mar,*  took  up  his 
abode,  and  established  his  family  at  Amster- 
dam, after  being  sent  on  a  similar  mission 
from  Morocco  to  England  and  the  United  Pro* 
vinces.  At  Oran,  which  was  conquered  by 
the  Spaniards,  under  Cardinal  Ximenes,  in 
*  See  Eoenen's  History  of  the  Jews  in  HoUaad. 


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THE   SEFHABDIM   IN   TURKEY.  387 

1507,  the  Jews  from  Spain  were  permitted  to 
reiide  upoa  sufferance.  They  were  exemplary 
in  their  fiddity  to  the  Spanish  Government, 
and  gained  its  est  em  and  favour  by  their 
personal  services.  The  valiant  families  of 
Cansino  and  Saporta,  originally  from  Arragon, 
served  the  King  of  Spain  against  his  Moorish 
enemies  in  Africa ;  so  that,  when,  in  1669,  the 
Spanish  governor  forbade  the  Jews  to  remain 
any  longer  in  Oran,  he  granted  letters  patent 
to  the  Saportas,  making  honourable  mention 
of  the  services  that  £nnily  had  rendered,  end* 
ing  with  the  remarkable  declaration,  that 
they  were  banished  for  no  other  reason  but 
'^  because  it  was  absolutely  impossible  for  his 
Catholic  Majesty  to  allow  a  Jew  to  remain 
within  his  dominions." 

History  takes  but  little  note  of  the  Jews  in 
the  Turkish  Empire  before  the  close  of  the 
Middle  Ages,  but  soon  after  the  taking  of  Con- 
stantinople by  the  Turks,  in  1453,  it  became 
apparent  that  a  large  body  of  the  Jewish 
people  had  formed  a  considerable  part  of  the 
population  in  the  metropolis,  and  in  other 
parts  of  the  empire.*  The  Spanish  exiles  did 
not  introduce,  but  found  a  vast  number  of 
synagogues  already  established,  and  masters  of 
*  See  Joet.  Yin.  60,  et  seq. 
s  2 


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388  THE   SEFHARDIM   IN   TURKEY. 

high  repute,  whose  rabbinical  lore  was  not 
much  inferior  in  degree  to  their  own  during 
the  Middle  Ages.  Constantinople,  Jerusalem, 
Tiberias,  Damascus,  Aleppo,  Nicopolis,  and 
Salonichi,  had  become  central  points  for  Jewish 
literature  and  theology.  The  population  in 
all  these  cities  was  rapidly  increased  by  nume* 
rous  detachments  from  Spain  and  Portugal. 
The  new  synagogues,  however,  remained  dis- 
tinct, preserving  not  only  their  own  liturgy, 
language,  and  customs,  but  even  continuing 
for  a  time  to  class  themselves  by  the  names  of 
the  cities  and  provinces  they  had  formerly 
inhabited;  thus  their  synagogues  were  long 
distinguished,  as  those  of  Arragon,  of  Toledo, 
of  Lorca,  Lisbon,  &c. 

One  of  the  most  important  benefits  which 
the  accession  of  these  thousands  of  Spanish 
fugitives,  with  their  learned  men,  conferred  on 
the  Jewish  communities  of  Turkey  was  the 
removal  of  their  printing-presses,  which  were 
soon  in  full  activity.  At  Constantinople  and 
Salonichi,  as  well  as  many  Italian  cities,  the 
Holy  Scriptures  of  the  Old  Testament  were 
printed  and  abundantly  circulated  in  Hebrew 
and  Spanish,  together  with  many  Jewish 
commentaries  and  other  writings  which  had 
hitherto  remained  in  manuscript. 


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THE   SEPHARDIM   IN   TURKEY.  889 

The  social  and  political  position  of  the  Jew- 
ish population  in  the  Ottoman  Empire  con- 
tinued a  prosperous  one  for  many  generations. 
With  the  exception  of  the  popular  feeling  of 
prejudice  against  the  descendants  of  Israel  all 
over  the  world,  and  those  temporary  exactions 
against  which  no  one  in  the  East  is  secure, 
the  Turkish  Government  was  disposed  to  treat 
them  with  great  liberality.  They  enjoyed 
complete  freedom  for  commerce,  manufacture, 
agriculture,  and  the  possession  of  landed  pro- 
perty. The  financial  affairs  of  the  Sultan  and 
chief  officers  of  the  state  were  chiefly  confided 
to  Jews,  and  physicians  of  that  nation  were 
received  at  Court  with  peculiar  privileges. 
They  reached  the  greatest  height  of  pros- 
perity in  the  later  part  of  the  sixteenth  cen- 
tury, when  Miquez,  one  of  their  brethren, 
was  high  in  favour  with  the  Sultan,  Selim  II. 
This  Don  Joseph  Miquez,  who  has  been  as 
much  maligned  by  Roman  Catholic  writers, 
as  he  is  lauded  by  Jewish  and  Protestant 
historians,*  was  a  Spaniard,  who  had  emi- 
grated on  account  of  his  religion.  Having 
lived  for  some  time  at  Antwerp,  he  made 
solicitation  to  the  Duchess  of  Parma,  Gover- 
ness to  the  Netherlands,  to  obtain  a  residence 

•  See  Strada,  "  Guerre  des  Pays  Baa,"  1566.  Baanage, 
"Histoiredes  Juiffl.'* 


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890  THE   SEPHARDIH   IN   ITALY. 

for  his  nation  in  that  country ;  but  he  failed, 
in  consequence  of  the  antipathy  expressed  by 
Philip  II.  to  his  proposals.  He  a^rwards 
entered  into  negotiation  with  the  Senate  of 
Venice  to  obtain  permission  for  the  establish- 
ment of  a  Jewish  colony  on  one  of  the  islands 
belonging  to  that  Bepublic.  This  project, 
also,  having  failed,  he  went  to  Constantinople, 
where  his  enterprising  genius  and  great 
talents  gained  him  so  much  fevour  with  the 
Sultan,  that  the  government  of  twelve  islands 
in  the  Archipelago  was  committed  to  him  by 
this  sovereign.  This  appointment  caused  him 
to  be  sumamed  by  his  brethren,  "  El  Nassi,** 
the  Prince.  In  1566,  the  Reformed  C!on- 
sistory  of  Antwerp  received  a  letter  from 
Miquez,  encouraging  the  Protestants  to  hold 
out,  because  the  Sultan  Selim  was  forming 
designs  against  the  Spanish  monarchy  which 
would  soon  compel  Philip  to  think  of  other 
matters  than  oppressing  the  Netherlands. 

In  Italy,  as  well  as  Turkey,  the  influx  of 
Spanish  Israelites  seemed  to  infuse  fresh  life 
and  vigour  into  the  literature  and  theology  of 
the  dispersed  nation.  The  emigrants  were, 
generally  speaking,  welcomed  with  kindness 
both  by  the  magistrates  of  the  Italian  states 
and  by  their  own  brethren.  In  the  kingdom 
of  Naples,  the  Catholic  King,  being  unable  to 


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THE   &EPHABDIH   IN    ITALY.  391 

establish  the  Inquisition,  could  not  allow  them 
to  remain.  An  edict  of  banishment  was,  in 
consequence,  passed,  and  the  exiles  from 
Spain  had  again  much  to  suffer  from  royal 
severity.  Jewish  writers  say  that  these 
compulsory  measures  were  only  employed 
against  the  Sephardim.  *  The  Emperor 
Charles  did  not  show  less  cruelty  in  Italy, 
especially  in  the  ctise  of  two  Israelites, 
David  Reubens  and  Solomon  Malcho.  The 
latter,  a  native  of  Portugal,  baptized  by  force 
in  his  childhood,  filled  the  office  of  Private 
Secretary  to  the  King.  Reubens  came  to  him, 
on  his  return  from  Asia,  with  accounts  of  the 
lost  ten  tribes,  and  wrought  so  powerfully  on 
his  convictions,  that  he  not  only  returned  to 
the  faith  of  his  fathers,  but  made  an  attempt 
to  bring  over  Francis  I.  and  the  Emperor  to 
the  religion. of  Moses.  Francis  I.  took  the 
matter  in  jest,  but  the  Emperor  immediately 
handed  over  the  unfortunate  Malcho  to  the 
secular  power  at  Mantua,  by  which  he  was 
condemned  to  the  flames  in  1536. 

In  the  Ecclesiastical  states,  and  especially 
at  Rome,  the  exiled  Jews  were  but  little  per- 
secuted.      The    Popes,   as  we   have    before 
observed,  waged  war  with  their  books,  rather 
•  See  Orobio  de  Caatro,  p.  208^ 


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d92  THE   SEPHARDIM   IN    ITALY. 

than  ^ith  themselves.  The  new  Christians 
lived  in  far  greater  security  from  the  Inquisi- 
tion in  the  Papal  States  than  in  Spain  and 
Portugal,  Alexander  VI.,  when  they  were 
first  banished  from  Spain,  gave  them  his 
assistance  at  a  time  when  they  were  looked 
upon  with  a  degree  of  jealousy  by  their  co- 
religionists at  Rome.  The  Spanish  synagogues 
were  still  more  flourishing  in  other  cities,  as 
at  Ancona,  Pesaro,  Padua,  and  Leghorn, 
which  to  this  day  contains  the  handsomest 
structure  of  the  kind  in  Europe.  The  Govern- 
ment of  Venice  often  confided  its  most  im- 
portant missions  to  men  of  the  Jewish  per- 
suasion; and  to  this  Republic,  Dr.  Juda 
Lumbroso,  from  Tuscany,  after  having  long 
served  the  Grand  Duke,  retired,  that  he  might 
live  in  peace  in  the  exercise  of  the  Jewish 
religion. 

One  striking  consequence  of  the  Jewish 
emigration  to  Italy,  was  the  establishment 
and  multiplication  of  the  Hebrew  printing 
presses,  in  more  than  one  of  its  cities.  Since 
the  latter  half  of  the  fifteenth  century  had 
commenced,  the  art  of  printing,  then  newly 
discovered,  had  begun  to  rival,  if  not  to  take  the 
place  of,  manuscript.  The  Jews  of  Spain  and 
Portugal  had,  for  many   years,   excelled  all 


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HEBREW   FRINTEBS.  393 

their  coantrytnen  in  the  number  and  beauty 
of  their  written  copies  of  the  Pentateuch  and 
other  holy  books.    When,  in  1471,  the  Jews 
in  Italy  began  to  set  up  Hebrew  presses,  their 
example  was  soon  followed  at  Lisbon.     The 
first  Hebrew  book  printed  in  t^e  Peninsula 
is  dated  from  Lisbon,  1485.     It  was  the  Book 
of  the  Way  of  Life,  '*  Seper  Orach  Chaim,** 
by  Babbi  Jacob   Ben  Asher.     In   1489,    a 
Hebrew  Pentateuch  was  printed  at  Lisbon, 
and  in  1494  a  second  press  was  set  up  at 
Leira,  which  produced  the  Greater  Prophets 
in  the  original.     Three  years  after,  the  edict 
of  banishment  was  promulgated,  which  abo« 
lished,  for  ever,  the  printing  of  Hebrew  in 
Portugal.     Not  only  were  books  in  that  Ian* 
guage  prohibited,  but  even  the  use  of  the 
presses    in    publishing    Greek,    Latin,    and 
Portuguese  works  was  rendered  null  by  the 
great  privileges  granted  to  strangers  in  prefer- 
ence to  the  new  Christians  of  the  country. 
All   these  circumstances  combined    led   the 
Jews  of  Portugal  to  devote  themselves  to  the 
improvement   and  extension  of   the    presses 
already  established  in  Italy,  and  to  erect  new 
ones,  whose  ramifications  extended  to  Con- 
stantinople and  Salonichi.      The  most  cele- 
brated  of  all  was  the  press  established  by  the 
s3 


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394  HEBBEW  PBINTERir. 

Jews  of  Spain  and  Portugal  at  Ferrara,  under 
the  superintendence  of  the  celebrated  Abra- 
ham Usque,  son  of  Solomon,  and  brother  of 
Samuel,  Usque.  The  Bible  of  Ferrara,  con- 
taining the  Spanish  version  of  the  Old  Testa^ 
ment,  is  one  of  the  most  famed  productions 
of  the  Jewish  press  in  Italy.  This  version 
was  published  under  the  superintendence  of 
the  learned  editor  himself  and  his  fellow* 
labourer  and  coreligionist,  Yom  Tov  Aihias, 
and  appears  in  two  different  forms,  which 
have  been  wrongly  looked  upon  as  different 
editions.  In  both,  the  text,  with  few  excep- 
tions,* is  word  for  word  the  same ;  there  is 
some  difference  in  the  headings  of  the  chap- 
ters. In  some  copies  the  date  is  given  accord- 
ing to  the  JeMdsh  jEra,  14th  Adar,  5113;  in 
others,  according  to  the  Christian  style.  May 
10th,  1553.  The  dedication  in  the  earlier 
copies  is  to  Dona  Gracia  Nasi,  a  Jewish  lady 
of  distinction,  mother-in-law  to  Don  Joseph 
Miquez;  in  the  later  ones  to  Hercules  de 
Este,  Duke  of  Ferrara.  In  some  editions  the 
names    of  the    editors    are   written    Duarte 


*  The  principal  variation  is  in  Isaiah  vii.  14,  where 
the  word  Hagnalma  is  translated  in  some  copies  by 
Yirgem,  virgin  ;  and  in  others  by  Mo^a,  damsel. 


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LEARNED   HEN,   ETC.  395 

Pinhel,*  Portuguese,  and  Jerome  de  Pargas, 
Spaniard ;  in  others,  Abraham  Usque,  Porto* 
guese,  and  Yom  Tov  Athias,  son  of  Levi 
Athias,  Spaniard.  It  is  clear  that  one  of 
these  editions  was  intended  for  Jewish,  and 
the  other  for  Christian  readers. 

It  would  be  vain  to  attempt  in  a  book  like 
this,  to  enter  into  many  details  concerning  the 
lives  and  writings  of  the  Spanish  exiles  who 
distinguished  themselves  for  their  learning. 
We  may  just  give  the  names  of  Rabbi  David 
Ben  Joseph,  Kabbi  Joseph  Ben  Don  David 
Ben  Joseph,  Kabbi  David,  Rabbi  Gedaliah, 
Rabbi  Jehudah,  with  many  illustrious  mem- 
bers of  the  family  of  Yachia;  Dr.  Jacob 
Mantinus,  the  translator  of  many  works  of 
Aristotle,  Avicenna,  and  Averrhoes  into  Latin, 
Rabbi  Jacob  Berab,  and  Rabbi  Joseph  Ben 
Ephraim  Caro.  These  and  many  others 
quitted  the  Peninsula  either  as  children  or  as 
grown-up  men;  they  afterwards  established 
themselves  and  published  their  books  at  Imola, 
Padua,  Ferrara,  Constantinople,  Salonichi,  and 

*  Duarte  Pinhel  is  the  Portuguese  name,  and  Abra- 
ham Usque  the  Jewish  name  of  the  same  editor  ;  and  so, 
Jeronimo  de  Vargas  is  the  Spanish,  and  Yom  Toy 
Athias  the  Jewish  name  of  his  fellow-labourer.  Thus 
there  were  not,  as  is  often  thought,  four,  but  two  editors* 


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396  LEARNED   MEN   AMONG 

especially  at  Saphet,  in  the  Holy  Land,  where, 
as  well  as  at  Jerusalem,  there  was  always  a 
congregation  of  learned  Sephardun* 

Among  these  exiles  we.  may  look  with 
thankfulness  upon  many  sincerely  converted 
to  the  Christian  £dth.  A  learned  Portuguese 
Jew,  sumamed,  after  his  conversion,  John 
Hatohel,  (the  baptized,)  published  a  version  of 
the  Psalms,  with  the  title  of  **  Consolation  of 
Christians,  and  light  for  the  People  of  Israel," 
besides  a  catechetical  dialc^ue  on  the  Christian 
faith,  with  quotations  from  the  Rabbins. 
Another  Israelite,  of  the  same  race,  but  bom 
and  educated  at  Saphet,  in  rabbinical  theo- 
logy, was  Judas  Jona,  who  long  governed  the 
synagogue  at  Hamburgh.  He  was  converted 
to  the  Christian  faith  in  Poland,  and,  after 
many  remarkable  reverses,  gave  instruction  in 
Hebrew  to  Bartolocci,  and  suggested  to  him 
the  idea  of  his  '*  Bibliotheca  Rabbinica." 

There  are  three  more  exiles  of  note  to 
mention  before  taking  leave  of  Italy.  The 
first,  Rabbi  Joseph  Ben  Joshua  Ben  Meir, 
bom  in  the  year  1496,  at  Avignon,  of  Spanish 
parents,  who  removed  first  to  that  city  and 
afterwards  to  Genoa.  He  wrote  in  Hebrew  a 
universal  history,  of  which  the  first  part  de- 
scribed all  the  principal  events  from  the  Crea- 


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THE   8PAKISH   EXILES.  397 

tion  of  the  world  to  the  year  1620,  in  which 
year  the  author  lost  his  father.  The  second 
part  relates  with  great  detail  the  history  of 
events  that  happened  in  his  own  lifetime  till 
the  year  1553.  He  introduced  into  this 
chronicle — written  in  the  style  of  the  historical 
books  in  the  Bible — many  particulars  con- 
cerning his  own  nation,  his  family,  and  house- 
hold.* The  preface  begins  with  a  genealogy, 
after  the  manner  of  Jewish  writers  of  his  time 
and  country: — **Thu8  writeth  Rabbi  Joseph, 
the  son  of  Joshua,  the  son  of  Meir,  the  son  of 
Juda,  the  son  of  David,  the  son  of  Moses,  a 
descendant  of  the  Cohens  (priests)  who  came 
from  Avitium,f  in  the  country  of  Spain."  The 
ancestors  of  the  author  had  retired  to  Avitium, 
or  Benevente,  as  he  relates  in  his  chronicles,  in 

♦  This  preface,  omitted  in  the  edition  by  Proops  of 
Amsterdam,  (1733,)  is  found  in  the  Venetian  edition  of 
1554,  from  which  the  English  translation  was  made  by 
Dr.  C.  H.  R  Bialloblotsky.    London,  1835. 

t  It  is  thus  I  think  we  should  read,  and  not  Goite, 
(^'l^^^'HIM ,  and  not  ^Id^'SIS)  as  the  English  translator  has 
rendered  it.  Compare  the  chronicle  itself  for  the  year 
1431,  where  the  translator  himself  thus  renders  the 
Hebrew  word,  and  makes  the  remark  that,  bj  Avitium  we 
must  understand  Benevente,  in  the  kingdom  of  Leon.  We 
must  also  in  the  same  place  read  Cuenga,  and  not  Coin9a, 
and  which  is  equally  represented  by  the  Hebrew  letters 


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898  LEARNED   MEN   AKONG 

consequence  of  a  great  tribulation  which  fell 
upon  the  Jews  of  Guen^a,  in  Castile.  Eabbi 
Joseph  has  also  written  in  Hebrew  another 
•*  Chronicle  of  the  French  Crusades/'  and  of 
"Wars  between  Christians."  Both  these 
works,  in  spite  of  the  great  defects  common  to 
all  Jewish  historians  since  the  days  of  Josephus, 
have  yet  been  valuable  as  books  of  reference 
to  superior  historians  in  our  own  day. 

To  a  rather  earlier  period  belongs  another 
Jewish  historian  of  Spanish  birth,  who  has 
related  in  Hebrew  the  reverses  and  perse- 
cutions endured  by  his  brethren,  both  in  the 
Peninsula  and  elsewhere.  This  was  Rabbi 
Salomon  Ben  Verga,  who  was  bom  in  145Q, 
and  practised  in  Spain  as  a  physician.  His 
"  Sceptre  of  Judah,"  composed  in  part  from 
notes  left  by  his  father,  and  afterwards  con- 
tinued by  his  son,  Rabbi  Joseph  Ben  Salomon 
Ben  Verga,  has  been  translated  into  Latin, 
and  several  of  the  modem  languages.  The 
book  itself  tells  us  that  its  author  was  em- 
ployed by  the  Spanish  synagogues  in  several 
difficult  negotiations  during  the  later  years  of 
his  residence  in  the  Peninsula.  We  have  but 
few  particulars  of  his  life,  after  he  shared  in 
the  banishment  of  his  brethren ;  even  the  year  / 
of  his  death  is  unknown.     It  is  probable  that 


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THE   SPANISH   EXILES.  399 

he  lived  for  some  years  in  Egypt,  for  his  book^ 
which  has  obtained  some  celebrity,  was  printed 
in  the  original  at  Venice. 

Among  all  the  works  of  the  Spanish  and 
Portuguese  exiles  at  this  memorable,  and  at 
the  same  time  terrible  period,  there  is,  perhaps, 
not  one  so  full  of  deep  feeling  and  worthy  of 
interest,  both  in  its  form  and  contents,  as  that 
of  Samuel  Usque,  entitled, "  Consolation  for  the 
Sorrows  of  Israel."  He  published  it  first  in 
Portuguese,  his  mother  tongue,  and  afterwards 
in  Spanish, — the  language  of  his  father's  fiimily. 
Both  the  one  and  the  other  were  speedily  placed 
by  the  Inquisition  on  the  list  of  prohibited 
books.*  In  a  preface  addressed  to  the  '^  exiled 
nobles  of  Portugal,"  he  gives  his  reasons  for 
the  object,  the  language,  and  the  subject  of 
the  work.  It  consists  of  three  long  dialogues, 
in  which  the  sins  and  tribulations  of  the 
Jewish  nation  during  the  existence  of  the  first 
and  second  temple,  as  well  as  after  the  de- 
struction of  Jerusalem  by  the  Romans,  are 
related,  lamented  over,  and  alleviated  by  the 
blessed  promises  of  God  concerning  the  future 
restoration  and  glory  of  Israel.     The  persons 

*  His  "  Consola^ao  as  Tribula9oen8  de  Israel "  was  first 
published  at  Ferrara,  1 553,  bj  Abraham  Usque,  brother 
of  the  author,  and  was  dedicated  to  Dona  Gracia  Nasi. 


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400  THE   8EPHARDIM    IN   FRANCE. 

who  take  part  in  these  dialogues  are  three 
shepherds.  The  first  Israel,  under  the  name 
"  Icabo,"  or  Jacob,  (which,  by  a  kind  of  rab- 
binical play  on  the  word,  bears  allusion  to  the 
name  which  Eli's  daughter-in-law  gave  to  her 
child,)  with  his  two  friends,  Numeo  and 
Zicareo, — names  that,  in  the  Hebrew,  bear  the 
signification  of  consolation  and  remembrance. 
The  replies  of  the  two  latter  speakers  to  the 
tragical  lamentations  of  Icabo  are  drawn  from 
a  remembrance  of  God*s  judgments  on  the 
enemies  of  Israel,  and  the  magnificent  pre- 
dictions of  the  prophets,  which  are  summed  up 
together  in  a  poetical  paraphrase  of  the  126th 
Psalm.  Oh  that  Israel's  belief  and  contem- 
plation of  all  God's  promises  to  the  captives  of 
Zion  were  Yea  and  Amen  in  Jesus  Christ,  and 
him  crucified! 

Abraham  Usque,  the  famous  printer,  a 
brother  of  Babbi  Samuel,  composed  a  Spanish 
liturgy  for  the  feast  of  the  new  year  and  the 
great  day  of  Atonement.  Another  Usque, 
whose  name  of  Salomon  leads  us  to  think 
of  the  father  of  Abraham  and  Samuel,  wrote  a 
Spanish  translation  of  Petrarch,  a  tragedy  of 
Esther,  and  a  hymn  on  the  Creation. 

Shortly  after  the  passing  of  the  edicts  in 
1492  and  1497,  many  Jewish  emigrants  sought 


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THE    8EPHARDIM    IN    FRANCE,  401 

a  refuge  on  the  northern  side  of  the  Pyrenees ; 

and  we  never  find  that  their  tranquillity  was  in 

any  way  disturbed  by  the  French  kings.    Half 

a  century  later  these  emigrants  obtained  from 

King  John  II.  letters  patent,  securing  to  them, 

under  the  denomination  of  Portuguese,  their 

entire  liberty,  and  many  desirable  rights  and 

privileges.     These  letters  were  registered  by 

Parliament  in  the  year  1660.*     Subsequent 

kings    confirmed    these    rights,    and    at   all 

times  protected  their  Portuguese  subjects  from 

any  violence  or  ill-will  felt  against  them  on 

account  of  their  religion.     When  the  Edict  of 

Nantes  was  revoked  by  Louis  XIV. ,  this  legal 

toleration  seemed  for  a  moment  in  danger, 

though  no  evil  consequences  finally  ensued. 

An  effort  made  in  the  reign  of  Louis  XV.  to  cut 

short  their  privileges,  likewise  fell  to  the  ground. 

In  consequence  of  the  annexation  of  Alsace  to 

France  towards  the  close  of  the  seventeenth 

century,  that  kingdom  contain&d  three  or  four 

very  different  races  of  Jews  within  its  territory, 

— those  that  belonged  originally  to  France, 

those  of  Alsace,  who  were  German  Jews,  the 

Italian  Jews  of  Avignon,  and  the  Spanish  and 

Portuguese  Jews,  who  were  chiefly  settled  at 

*  ''Recueil  de  Lettres  patentes  en  faveur  des  Juifs 
Portogais."    Parw,  1765. 


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402      PoaTUOUESE  jews  in  Denmark. 

Bayonne  and  Bordeaux.  The  Spanish  exiles 
who  established  themselves  in  France  were, 
generally  speaking,  more  distinguished  by  a 
high  reputation  for  probity  and  by  great 
wealth  than,  as  elsewhere,  for  their  learned  men 
and  literary  productions.*  Yet  some  names 
of  note  have  been  already  recorded  in  France, 
to  which  we  may  add  that  of  Pereira,  librarian 
to  the  King  at  Paris  in  the  eighteenth  century, 
who  had  the  honour  of  anticipating  the  cele- 
brated Abb6de  rEp6ein  his  plans  for  instructing 
and  communicating  with  the  deaf  and  dumb. 
Several  manuscript  records  preserved  in  the 
Portuguese  synagogue  of  Amsterdam  show 
that  a  communication  was  hdd  in  the  year 
1622  by  Christian  IV.,  of  Denmark,  with  that 
synagogue,  for  the  purpose  of  engaging  some 
of  its  members  to  establish  themselves  in  his 
dominions,  with  a  promise  of  entire  liberty  of 
conscience,  freedom  of  commerce,  and  special 
privileges.*      It  is  a  fact,  that  early  in  the 

*  Beugnot  says,  ^^A  tradition  we  cannot  disbelieve 
teaches  us  to  revere  them,  and  point  them  out  as  models 
to  their  fellow-countrymen." 

''MS.  Memorias  do  Establecimento  e  Progresso  dos 
Judeos  Portuguezes  e  Espanoles  en  esta  famosa  Cidade  de 
Amsterdam."  Ae.  5529  (1769^  por  David  Franco 
Mendes. 


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PORTUGUESE   JEWS   AT   HAMBURGH.        403 

seventeehtih  century  families  and  synagogues 
of  Portuguese  Jews  were  settled  and  flourishing 
in  the  Danish  states,  chiefly  at  Holstein.  At 
Copenhagen,  also,  they  had  a  community,  hut 
their  settlements  at  Gluckstadt  and  Altona 
have  long  been  their  chief  establishments  in  that 
part  of  the  world.  With  the  exception  of  a 
few  disputes  with  the  magistrates  and  the 
Lutheran  clergy,  (chiefly  on  account  of  mar* 
riages  between  uncle  and  niece,  which  are 
allowed  by  the  Jews,)  they  have  enjoyed  much 
peace  and  prosperity  in  both  those  cities. 

At  Hamburgh,  their  well«being  has  been 
even  more  remarkable,  and  the  protection 
granted  to  Jewish  refugees  by  the  King  of 
Denmark  seems  to  have  been  one  of  its  prin- 
cipal causes.  We  know,  from  the  history  of 
commerce,  the  spirit  of  rivalry  which  has  ever 
existed  between  this  free  Imperial  city  and 
the  commercial  towns  of  Holstein.  Altona  in 
particular  was  feared  as  a  rival  by  the  magis- 
trates of  Hamburgh,  when  they  beheld  her 
enriched  by  the  establishment  of  a  Jewish 
population,  with  its  wealth  and  important 
mercantile  connexions.  Notwithstanding  the 
opposition  of  some  of  the  citizens  and  the 
Protestant  clergy,  and  in  spite  of  the  com- 
plaints of  the  Emperor — that  a  city  which 


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404      PORTUGUESE   JEWS   AT   HAMBURGH. 

had  expelled  Roman  Catholics  should  admit 
Jews, — the  magistrates  of  Hamburgh  consi- 
dered themselves  compelled,  by  their  com- 
mercial position  with  respect  to  Altona,  not 
only  to  admit,  hut  to  confer  many  privileges 
upon  the  Portuguese  Jews.  Since  that  time, 
Hamburgh,  as  well  as  Amsterdam,  has  been 
honoured  with  the  appellation  of  "  Little  Jeru- 
salem." The  synagogues  in  that  city  have 
kept  up  a  close  connexion  with  those  of  Am- 
sterdam, by  means  of  a  constant  correspond- 
ence, and  of  the  intimate  family  connexion 
subsisting  between  the  inhabitants  of  the  two 
cities.  Among  the  most  distinguished  Rabbins 
who  have  adorned  the  synagogue  of  Ham- 
burgh, we  may  mention  the  Rabbi  David 
Cohen  de  Lara,  in  high  esteem  among  Chris- 
tians also,  as  the  author  of  a  Talmudic  Lexi- 
con, which  he  was  prevented  from  completing 
by  his  death,  in  1672.  The  Pastor,  Edzard, 
who  had  much  at  heart  the  conversion  of 
Israel  to  the  true  Messiah,  had  many  inter- 
views with  this  learned  Israelite,  from  which 
he  was  sometimes  led  to  look  for  a  hopeful 
result ;  but  in  what  faith  the  learned  Rabbi 
of  Hamburgh  died  has  remained  uncertain. 

The  social  prosperity  enjoyed  by  the  Jews 
of  Hamburgh  was  much  advanced  by  the  high 


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SPANISH   AND   PORTUGUESE   JEWS.        405 

honour  awarded  to  some  distinguished  families 
who  were  employed  as  agents  or  residents  by 
different  foreign  powers.  The  kings  of  Den-» 
mark,  the  kings  of  Portugal,  after  the  success 
sion  of  the  house  of  Braganza,  in  1640,  and 
also  Queen  Christina,  of  Sweden,  employed  a 
notable  member  of  the  synagogue  as  their 
representative  in  the  city  of  Hamburgh.  By 
the  last-named  country,  this  charge  was  en* 
trusted  to  Don  Manuel  Texeira,  whose  father^ 
Don  Diego  Texeira  Sampaio,  had  received,  in 
1667,  from  Frederick  III.,  of  Denmark,  an. 
Act  granting  complete  freedom  and  great 
privileges  to  the  Portuguese  Jews,  which  were 
afterwards  confirmed  by  Christian  V.  About 
fifty  descendants  of  the  family  of  Texeira,  in 
the  direct  male  line,  are  now  living  at  Amster- 
dam. In  other  parts  of  the  ancient  German 
empire,  in  Poland,  and  in  Russia,  there  may 
be  a  few  individuals,  or  even  single  families, 
who  have  preserved  a  memorial  of  their 
southern  origin ;  but  they  have  never  formed 
a  synagogue  either  among  Protestants,  Roman 
Catholics,  or  Greeks. 

.  The  country  which  has  decidedly  shown  the 
greatest  favour,  and  afforded  the  warmest 
hospitality  to  the  scattered  Israelites  of  Spain, 
has  been,  since  the  dose  of  the  sixteenth  cenr 


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406         SPANISH    AND   PORTUGUESE   JEWS 

tary,  the  reformed  and  emancipated  Republic 
of  the  Low  Countries.  It  was,  indeed,  a  striking 
interposition  of  Divine  Providence  which 
brought  the  epoch  of  the  Reformation  so  near 
to  the  time  when  the  Jews  were  banished  from 
Spain  and  Portugal,  which  also  brought  about 
in  Holland,  half  a  century  after,  that  m^nor* 
able  struggle  of  four-and-twenty  years  for 
religion  and  liberty,  of  which  one  result  was 
to  provide  a  place  of  refuge  and  hospitality  for 
the  descendants  of  Abraham.  When  the  first 
Jews,  or  new  Christians  from  Spain,  made 
their  appearance  in  the  Low  Countries,  there 
remained  not  a  vestige  of  those  French  and 
German  Israelites  whose  troubles  and  ca- 
lamities we  have  before  related.  The  first 
indication  of  this  re*establishment  of  the 
Israelites  in  the  southern  part  of  the  united 
provinces  is  found  in  the  year  1516.  At 
that  time,  some  refrigees  from  Spain  presented 
themselyes  to  Charles  V.,  the  grandson  and 
successor  of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  in  order 
to  renew  the  entreaties  and  the  ofiers  made  by 
the  Jewish  nation  for  permission  to  reside  and 
exercise  their  religion  in  his  dominions. 
Their  appeal  was  unheeded ;  for  severe  edicts 
entirely  exduded  new  Christians  from  Hol- 
land as  well  as  Spain  (1532—1549).    We 


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IN   THE   NETHERLANDS.  407 

have  already  noticed  the  ineffectual  attempt 
made  in  the  reign  of  Philip  II.,  by  Don  Joseph 
Miqnez.  And  yet,  notvdthstanding  these 
edicts,  many  Jews  were  to  be  found  in  these 
provinces  before,  as  well  as  after,  their  separa- 
tion from  Spain,  holding  the  same  position  as 
those  who  remained  in  the  Peninsula.  Their 
religion  had  long  ceased  to  be  tolerated ;  but 
by  practising  it  with  the  greatest  secresy,  they 
lived  and  prospered  under  Spanish  names,  and 
among  Spanish  families  and  connexions.  Both 
at  the  Conrt  of  Madrid  and  in  the  Government 
of  the  Spanish  Netherlands  at  Brussels,  de* 
scendants  of  Israel  were  to  be  found,  who 
afterwards,  either  alone  or  with  their  families, 
quitted  the  Church  of  Bome  to  make  an  open 
profession  of  Judaism  at  Amsterdam.  At 
Antwerp,  also,  the  concealed  Jews  were  very 
numerons,  and  had  established  academies  for 
the  study  both  of  Hebrew  and  Spanish  litera^ 
ture.  The  ancestors  of  many  families  who 
have  since  settled  either  at  Amsterdam  or  the 
Hague,  long  resided  at  Antwerp.  Among 
them  was  Don  Manuel  Alvarez  de  Pinto  y 
Ribera,  in  1640,  Gentleman  of  the  Household 
to  the  King  of  Spain,  and  Knight  of  the 
Order  of  St  James,  from  whom  descended  the 
&mily  of  De  Pinto,  well  knoYm  in  the  synaF 


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408  PORTUGUESE  JEWS    IN 

gogue  of  Holland ;  Don  Francisco  de  Silva  y 
Soils,  afterwards  Marquis  of  Montfort,  who,  at 
the  head  of  his  company,  when  serving  under 
the  Emperor  Leopold  I.,  contributed  greatly 
to  the  defeat  of  the  French  Marechal  de 
Cr6qui  in  the  campaign  of  1673;  Don  An- 
tonio Lopes  Suasso,  agent  of  the  King  of 
Spain,  and  invested  by  that  prince  with  the 
barony  of  Avemas  le  Gras,  in  Brabant.  It 
was  this  Baron  Suasso  who,  when  afterwards 
established  at  the  Hague,  offered  to  Wil- 
liam III.,  in  1628,  a  million  of  money  for  his 
expedition  to  England,  to  be  repaid  only  in 
case  of  success. 

Most  of  these  Spanish  and  Portuguese  Jew- 
ish families  established  themselves  within  a 
short  interval  in  the  Protestant  Low  Countries, 
to  seek  there  complete  freedom  for  the  exer- 
cise of  their  own  religion.  Their  first  settle- 
ment at  Amsterdam  was  made  on  the  side  of 
East  Friesland.  It  was  from  Embden  (a 
town  of  deep  interest  to  Holland  in  the  history 
of  its  Reformation),  that,  in  the  year  1594,  ten 
individuals  of  the  Portuguese  fionilies  of 
Lopes,  Homen,  and  Pereira  came  to  Anister- 
dam,  where  they  soon  resumed  their  original 
Israelitish  name  of  Abendana*  They  were 
accompamed  by  a  German  Eabbi  from  the 


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IN   THE    UNITED   PROVINCES,  409 

town  of  Embden,  by  whom  afterwards  many 
others  who  sought  refuge  in  the  capital  of 
Holland  were  circumcised;  to  his  posterity, 
the  synagogue  of  Amsterdam  granted,  in  re- 
turn, many  privileges,  especially  a  perpetual 
right  of  membership.  All  the  writings  and 
memorials  of  the  synagogue  agree,  that  since 
the  year  1596,  the  Great  Day  of  Atonement 
has  been  celebrated  by  a  small  community  of 
Portuguese  Jews  at  Amsterdam.  The  mayor 
of  the  town  having  surprised  the  assembly, 
took  it  at  first  for  a  meeting  of  the  Boman 
Catholics,  which,  at  that  time,  was  prohibited; 
when  better  informed,  he  still  left  them 
entirely  unmolested.  In  1598,  the  first  syna> 
gogue  was  built  in  that  capital,  of  which  one 
of  the  chief  founders  was  the  agent,  Don  Samuel 
Palache,  whom  we  have  before  mentioned. 
Ten  years  after,  the  increase  of  the  population 
required  the  erection  of  a  second  synagogue, 
and  in  1618  of  a  third.  In  1639,  the  three 
were  united  to  form,  from  that  time  forward, 
one  single  and  inseparable  community  of 
Spanish  and  Portuguese  Jews,  which,  as  a 
consequence  of  its  constantly  increasing  num- 
bers and  prosperity,  founded,  in  1675,  a 
handsome  synagogue,  situated  in  that  part  of 
the  town  where  the  refugees  from  the  Penin- 


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410        SPANISH    AKD   FORTUGUESS   JEWS 

sula  had  first  established  themselves  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  the  Amstel.  This  dedica- 
tion was,  at  the  same  time,  the  seal  of  a 
perfect  union  between  the  different  bodies, 
who,  as  we  have  seen,  before  the  year  1639 
possessed  each  their  separate  synagogue  and 
administration.  It  also  entirely  reunited  the 
two  parties  which  had  been  formed  on  the 
appearance  of  the  false  Messiali,  Sabbathai 
Sevi,  which,  in  the  yeai*  1666,  had  threatened 
to  divide  the  synagogue.  The  treaty  of  union 
between  all  the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  Jews 
6f  Amsterdam  w£is  ratified  by  the  magistrates 
of  the  town,  conformably  to  the  wish  of  the 
rulers  of  the  synagogue  themselves,  who, 
from  that  time,  felt  their  decrees  to  be  more 
firmly  ratified  by  the  authority  of  the  Govern- 
ment. 

During  this  interval,  the  German  and  Polish 
Jews  had  also  established  their  synagogues 
in  the  capital  of  Holland.  For  a  long  time 
they  had  many  difficulties  to  contend  with; 
but  in  the  year  1686  permission  was  at  last 
granted  to  them  to  buy  and  appropriate  to 
themselves  the  burying-ground  of  Muiderbank, 
at  some  distance  from  the  city;  and  in  1656 
they  were  allowed  to  erect  a  house  of  prayer. 
In    after-times,   this  portion  of  the  Jewish 


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IN   THE   UNITED   PBOYINCES.  411 

population  received  a  considerable  accession* 
The  Jews  in  Poland  and  Lithuania  had 
endured  great  cruelties  from  the  Cossacks  and 
from  popular  disturbances,  and  had  been 
obliged,  in  consequence,  to  leave  the  country. 
Three  thousand  Israelites  embarked  for  the 
Texel,  and  soon  received  hospitality  at  Am- 
sterdam, where  they  wished  to  establish  them* 
selves,  but  not  without  possessing  some  Ineans 
of  subsistence.  To  them,  as  to  their  brethren 
from  Germany,  was  permitted  a  free  exercise 
of  their  religious  worship  and  the  establish^i 
ment  of  a  synagogue;  but  soon  after  they 
were  desired  to  form,  together  with  these,  one 
single  congregation,  and  forbidden  to  assemble 
separately. 

Thus,  the  Jewish  population  of  Holland 
was  divided  into  two  separate  and  distinct 
bodies, — the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  syna* 
gogue,  and  the  German  and  Polish  synagogue. 
However  these  two  bodies  might  differ  in 
their  historical  recollections,  their  habits,  and 
customs,  still  both  synagogues  alike  acknow- 
ledged their  union  in  the  law  of  Moses  and 
the  traditions  of  the  Eabbius,  their  common 
descent  from  Abraham,  and  their  expectation 
of  the  promises  connected  with  that  descent. 
They  shared  in  the  same  rights  and  privilege^ 
T  2 


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412        SPANISH    AND    PORTUGUESE   JEWS 

and  alike  gave  proof  of  their  fidelity  and 
attachment  to  the  country  of  their  adoption, 
and  to  its  rulers  and  form  of  government 

The  rights  and  privileges  granted  to  both 
bodies  of  the  Jews  during  the  period  which 
preceded  the  revolution  of  1795  in  Holland, 
were  looked  upon  as  important,  both  by  those 
who  granted,  and  those  who  received  them. 
As  to  the  magistracy,  and  other  public  offices, 
the  State  at  that  time  intrusted  them  to  none 
but  those  who  belonged  to  the  National  Re- 
formed Church,  The  Jews,  on  their  side, 
everywhere  regarded  as  strangers,  (having 
their  faces  and  their  hearts  turned  towards 
Palestine  and  the  promise  of  a  coming  Mes- 
siah), to  use  their  own  words,  only  requested 
from  the  Christian  authorities,  ^'  a  mild  hos- 
pitality, or  not  too  harsh  an  exile,"  ♦  They 
could,  therefore,  easily  content  themselves 
with  a  degree  of  liberty,  which,  according  to 
the  opinion  of  the  present  day,  "  that  all  men 
are  equal  in  the  eye  of  the  law,"  would  be 
looked  upon  as  insufficient.  Liberty  of  con- 
science, the  free  exercise  of  their  religion,  the 
practice  of  their  own  laws  and  traditions,  and 

•  The  very  expressions  made  use  of  hj  Joseph  Athias 
in  dedicating  his  edition  of  the  Old  Testament  to  the 
States-GeneraL 


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IN    HOLLAND.  413 

even,  with  few  exceptions,  the  observance  of 
their  national  customs,  were  secured  to  them. 
Their  trade  was  protected,  their  way  of  ob- 
taining their  livelihood  rather  assisted  than 
hindered.  Even  their  right  to  enforce  obedi- 
ence to  the  religion  of  their  fathers,  within 
the  limits  of  the  synagogue,  by  the  use  of 
discipline  and  excommunication,  was  acknow- 
ledged. All  this  compensated  the  Israelite 
of  those  days  for  his  exclusion  from  public 
offices,  even  from  those  which  were  most  in 
accordance  with  his  taste  and  disposition,  such 
as  the  dignity  of  professor,  and  the  profession 
of  the  lawyer.  They  were  also  excluded  from 
all  guilds  or  companies,  except  those  of  the 
physicians  and  brokers,  though  this  did  not 
prevent  their  being  employed  by  their  own 
countrymen  in  any  other  profession  or  trade, 
provided  they  had  received  admission  as 
citizens  of  the  town.  On  the  whole,  a  com- 
parison of  times  and  facts  brings  us  to  the 
conclusion,  that  the  Jews,  at  least  those  exiled 
from  Spain,  were  indisputably  more  prosper- 
ous under  the  limited  and  partial  liberty  which 
they  enjoyed  under  the  Republic  and  its 
stadtholders,  than  under  the  unlimited  free- 
dom which  modem  constitutions  seem  to  se- 
cure to  them.  Yet  each  period,  especially 
for  Israel,  has  a  peculiar  dispensation,  and 


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414         SPANISH   AND   POBTUGUESE   JEWS 

assuredly  the  people  have,  of  all  nations,  the 
least  motive  for  retrograding,  provided  only 
they  are  not  mistaken  in  the  nature  of  that 
progress  with  which  the  spirit  of  the  age  would 
flatter  them. 

We  have  already  said  that,  with  regard  to 
the  internal  administration  of  the  synagogue, 
great  liberty  was  left  to  the  Jews  themselves, 
who  were  considered  on  the  footing  of  a  nation 
apart.  In  Holland,  however,  they  never  at- 
tempted to  confer  the  title  of  "  Prince  of  the 
Captivity,"  or  **  Great  Rabbi,"  as  formerly,  in 
Asia,  in  Spain,  and  Portugal,  or  even  in  Africa. 
A  certain  degree  of  jurisdiction  was  vested  in 
the  Pamassim  (or  rulers  of  the  synagogue); 
but  as  this  jurisdiction  was  limited  to  cases 
under  a  certain  amount,  it  was,  in  fact,  only  a 
kind  of  arbitration,  or  lesser  court  of  justice. 
At  all  events,  it  was  very  far  from  extending, 
as  in  former  times,  to  the  judgment  of  criminal 
cases.  Lastly,  the  executive  authority  of  the 
synagogue  -was  not  intrusted  to  the  Chief 
Rabbi  and  his  assistants  (who  were  only  con- 
sulted on  questions  of  religion),  but  entirely  to 
the  Pamassim  and  the  elders. 

Altogether  the  settlement  of  the  Jews  in 
Holland,  in  the  seventeenth  century,  though 
prosperous  and  endowed  with  many  privileges, 
appears  on  a  very  inferior  scale  when  com- 


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IN   HOLLAND.  415 

pared  with  the  historical  and  literary  memorials 
of  their  forefathers  in  the  Spanish  Peninsula. 
This  inferiority  is  especially  manifest  in  regard 
to  theology,  science,  and  poetry.  The  Hebrew 
tongue,  it  is  true,  was  still  carefully  studied, 
and  a  succession  to  the  line  of  its  ancient 
masters  thus  more  or  less  kept  up;  but  the 
holy  tongue  was  no  longer  in  use  for  com- 
mentaries and  paraphrases  of  Holy  Scripture, 
as  in  the  time  of  Yarchi,  Aben  Ezra,  and 
Maimonides.  Spanish  and  Portuguese  were 
now  the  only  languages  employed  by  the 
learned  Jews  of  the  Peninsula,  both  for  their 
writings  and  sermons.  Yet  the  seventeenth 
and  eighteenth  centuries  have  not  been  entirely 
deficient  in  works  worthy  of  note  on  theology 
and  philosophy,  written  by  the  Sephardim. 
We  have  only  to  consult  the  "  Bibliothecas," 
from  which  we  have  already  more  than  once 
made  quotations,  in  order  to  appreciate  the 
number  of  commentaries  on  Scripture,  ver- 
sions of  the  Hebrew,  dissertations,  sermons, 
religious  and  moral  treatises,  and  poems,  pub- 
lished during  that  period  by  the  exiles  from 
the  Peninsula  in  Holland.  Here  we  must 
content  ourselves  with  mentioning  only  a  few 
of  the  most  celebrated  writers  and  persons  of 
greatest  note,   the    better  to  exemplify  the 


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416  HENA88EH   BEX   ISRAEL. 

character  of  this  period  in  the  history  of  the 
Spanish  and  Portuguese  Jews. 

Among  the  authors  and  learned  men  brought 
up  in  the  synagogues  of  Holland,  no  one  has 
been  more  generally  known  as  a  theologian 
than  the  Rabbi  Menasseh  Ben  Israel.  Bom 
at  Lisbon,  in  1604,  he  came,  when  a  chihl,  to 
Amsterdam,  with  his  father,  Joseph  Ben  Israel, 
who  escaped,  with  some  difficulty,  from  a 
violent  persecution  in  Portugal.  Gifted  with 
an  enlarged  and  penetrating  mind,  he  early 
became  familiar  with  the  elements  of  Jewish 
theology  under  the  tuition  of  Rabbi  Uziel,  and 
acquired  also  a  knowledge  of  the  Hebrew, 
Gastilian,  Portuguese,  Greek,  Latin,  and 
Arabic  languages.  In  his  fifteenth  year  he 
was  already  listened  to  with  interest  as  a 
preacher ;  and  in  his  eighteenth  he  was  chosen 
Chief  Rabbi  of  one  of  the  three  synagogues  at 
Amsterdam.  He  continued  in  this  office  till 
the  time  of  his  journey  to  England,  soon  after 
which  we  find  him  making  efforts  to  negotiate 
with  the  Protector  Cromwell,  for  the  admission 
of  the  Jewish  nation  to  Grreat  Britain.  On 
this  occasion  the  University  of  Oxford  con- 
ferred the  degree  of  Doctor  of  Philosophy  and 
Medicine  upon  his  son,  Samuel  Ben  Israel. 
He  returned,  in  1658,  from  England,  where 


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MENAS8EH    BEN   ISRAEL.  417 

his  mission  had  produced  no  immediate  result, 
and  settled  at  Middleburgh ;  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  which  town  the  tomb  of  his  son 
Samuel  rs  still  to  be  seen,  who  died  some 
years  before  his  father.  Among  his  numerous 
works,  written  partly  in  Latin  and  partly  in 
Spanish  (some  in  both  these  languages),  or 
as  occasion  required,  in  Portuguese  and  in 
English,  we  will  here  note  only  the  most 
remarkable,  viz.,  his  ^^  Treatise  on  the  frailty 
of  human  nature,  and  man's  inclination  to  sin," 
in  which  he  combats  the  doctrine  of  Felagius, 
but  on  grounds  which  the  Christian  Church 
looks  upon  as  semi-Pelagian ; — the  '^  Hope  of 
Israel,"  to  which  we  have  already  alluded ; — 
**  Three  books  on  the  Resurrection  of  the 
dead;"  and  "The  Conciliation,"  a  work  in 
which  he  endeavours,  with  much  ingenuity, 
to  reconcile  the  apparent  contradictions  of  the 
Old  Testament.  This  last  work  has  gained 
for  him  the  praise  of  even  orthodox  theologians 
of  the  Reformed  Church,  though  on  many 
accounts  they  were  not  in  general  disposed  to 
look  favourably  upon  him.  To  his  exegetical 
and  dogmatical  works  we  may  add  several 
books  relating  to  the  Jewish  Liturgy,  the 
worship  of  the  synagogue,  and  rabbinical 
ordinances.  He  rendered  especial  service  to 
T  3 


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418  HBNAS8EH   BEN   I8BAEL. 

his  nation,  by  editing  a  Spanish  version  of  the 
Pentateuch  and  Haphtorahs ;  *  and  to  Chris- 
tians  as  well  as  Jews,  by  editing  several  beau- 
tiful editions  of  the  Hebrew  Old  Testament 
His  printing  presses,  superintended  chiefly  by 
his  sons,  passed,  after  his  family  became  ex- 
tinct, into  that  of  the  Athias's,f  of  Amsterdam, 
w}io  in  their  turn  bequeathed  their  presses  to 
the  equally  celebrated  family  of  Proops,  be- 
longing to  the  German  synagogue  of  that  city. 
Menasseh  Ben  Israel,  taking  into  considera- 
tion the  difierence  of  time  and  place,  may,  in 
more  than  one  respect,  be  compared  with  Don 
Isaac  Abarbanel,  with  whose  descendants  he 
was  connected  by  marriage.     Like  the  cele- 
brated Rabbi  of  the  fifteenth  century,  Manasseh 
Ben  Israel  appears  to  have  been  more  admi- 
rable in  his  learning  than  loveable  in  his 
character.    At  all  events,  modesty  was  not  one 
of  its  pervading  virtues,  if  we  may  judge  from 
the  manner  in  which  he  sometimes  speaks  of 
himself,  and  the  way  in  which  he  is  recorded 
to  have  conducted  himself  towards  the  syna- 

*  Lessons  taken  from  the  prophetical  books. 

f  The  States-General  of  the  Netherlands  presented  to 
Joseph  Athias  a  golden  medal  and  chain,  as  an  acknow- 
ledgment for  his  beautiful  edition  of  the  Hebrew  Old 
Testament. 


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UBIEL  DA   COSTA.  419 

gbgue  and  its  rulers.  Perhaps  the  great 
attention  paid  io  him  by  many  learned  Chris- 
tians of  different  denominations  contributed  to 
inspure  him  with  too  high  an  opinion  of  him- 
sel£  The  Roman  Catholic  theologian  and 
orator,  Padre  Vieira,  of  Portugal,  is  said  to  have 
been  more  than  once  among  his  hearers ;  while 
Peter  Daniel  Huet,  the  learned  Bishop  of 
Avranches,  visited  and  consulted  him.  In 
Holland,  the  Remonstrants  and  those  who 
befriended  them,  as  Grotius,  Yossius,  and 
Barlseus,  gave  him  every  proof  of  their  interest 
and  esteem.  The  Calvinists  at  that  time  were 
less  favourably  disposed  towards  the  Jewish 
nation,  some  of  them  even  thinking  it  right  to 
oppose  their  admission  and  the  toleration  of 
their  religion.  In  later  times,  when  the  future 
calling  of  Israel,  according  to  the  prophets, 
began  to  meet  with  more  sympathy  in  the 
hearts  of  Christians,  this  less  favourable  dispo- 
sition gave  way  in  many  to  a  conviction,  that 
the  residence  of  the  children  of  Israel  in  a 
Christian  country  should  rather  be  looked 
upon  as  a  blessing. 
The  too  well  known  Uriel  da  Costa*  was 

*  His  name  when  in  Portugal  was  Grabriel  da  Costa, 
but  he  is  more  generally  known  hj  the  Latinized  appella- 
tion of  A.  Costa,  which  we  find  appended  to  his  List  work 


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420  UBIBL  DA    C08TA. 

long  a  cotemporary  of  Menasseh  Ben  Israel  in 
the  synagogue  of  Amsterdam,  of  whom  it 
may  be  said,  that  both  his  life  and  death  were^ 
in  a  melancholy  sense  of  the  word,  an  ^^  ex- 
ample." Bom  at  Oporto,  about  1590,  of 
noble  parents,  he  was  brought  up  as  became 
his  birth  by  a  fiither  who»  though  descended 
from  ancestors  formerly  brought  by  violence 
to  a  profession  of  the  Roman  CSatholic  fisdth, 
was  himself  a  sincere  Christian,  of  high  and 
honourable  character.  His  son's  disposition 
was  not  altogether  devoid  of  generosity  and 
greatness  of  mind,  and  in  his  younger  days 
he  had  some  inclination  to  piety.  Doubts, 
brought  on  by  bold  rather  than  deep  specula- 
tion, estranged  him  in  the  first  instance  from 
the  Boman  Catholic  religion,  to  lead  him  on 
afterwards  from  the  Rabbinical  Judaism  of  the 
modem  synagogue  to  the  most  decided  Saddu- 
ceeism  of  ancient  times«  Being  at  twenty-five 
years  of  age  canon  and  treasurer  of  a  collegiate 
church  in  his  native  city,  he  sacrificed,  with- 
out hesitation,  his  rank,  his  wealth,  and  his 
country,  in  order  that  he  might  freely  profess, 
in  Holland,  the  religion  in  which  he  then 
hoped  to  find  rest  for  his  troubled  soul.     His 

composed  in  that  language,  entitled,  '*  Exemplar  Vita 
bumame." 


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URIEL  DA   COSTA.  421 

mother  and  younger  brothers,  led  by  his  influ- 
ence, accompanied  him  on  his  journey  to  join 
the  synagc^ue  at  Amsterdam,  where  the  family 
has  ever  since  been  established.  But  Uriel 
da  Costa  was  as  far  from  finding  peace  of 
mind  in  the  Protestant  Netherlands  as  he  had 
been  in  Roman  Catholic  Portugal,  There^  he 
had  cast  off  the  New  Testament  togetly^r  with 
the  traditions  of  Rome ;  and  here^  he  denied  the 
Divine  authority  of  the  Old  Testament  toge- 
ther with  the  hated  traditions  of  the  Rabbins. 
Thus  was  commenced  in  the  newly-formed 
synagogue  of  Amsterdam  the  most  violent 
struggle,  perhaps,  which  has  been  recorded  in 
the  modem  history  of  Israel  between  the  sect 
of  the  Pharisees  and  that  of  the  Sadducees. 
Here,  however,  there  were  not,  properly  speak- 
ing,  two  contending  parties ;  it  was  one  single 
individual  who  opposed  a  whole  community 
holding  Pharisaical  tenets,  and  who  displayed 
in  this  opposition  a  boldness  of  character  which 
would  be  worthy  of  admiration  in  a  better 
cause.  The  contest  broke  out  with  violence 
when  Uriel  had  unfolded  his  whole  system  in 
a  Portuguese  work,  entitled  "  Examination  of 
Pharisaical  Tradition."  The  book  was  not  yet 
published,  but  was  circulating  in  manuscript 


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438  URIEL  DA   COSTA; 

among  the  members  of  £he  synagogue,  when 
Dr.  Samuel  da  SUva  took  up  the  pen  against 
its  author,  and  published  also  in  Portuguese 
a  *^  Treatise  on  the  Immortality  of  the  Soul," 
(1623.)  In  the  striking  preface  to  this  work, 
the  errors  of.  Uriel  are  successively  passed  in 
review.  These  errors,  taken  all  together, 
amount  to  the  most  complete  and  avowed 
Sadduceeism.  The  law  of  Moses  was  still 
looked  upon  by  liim  as  divine,  but  all  tradition 
was  rejected,  and  among  traditions  he  denied 
**  the  resurrection  of  the  dead  and  the  life  to 
come."  The  work  of  Da  Silva,  in  which  the 
writer  of  the  "  Examination  "  is  only  alluded 
to  by  his  first  name,  out  of  respect  for  his 
family,  is  not  wanting  in  power;  its  author 
declaims  with  considerable  vehemence  against 
his  adversary,  not,  however,  entirely  without 
hope  of  bringing  him  round.  Its  effect  was 
quite  the  reverse ;  for,  during  that  same  year, 
Uriel  published  the  "  Examination,"  enlarged 
by  a  refutation  of  Da  Silva's  treatise.  The 
chief  magistrate  of  the  city  of  Amsterdam  then 
took  cognisance  of  the  matter,  and  commenced 
judicial  proceedings  against  the  author  of  a 
work  which  openly  denied  the  immortality  of 
the  soul.     The  copies  were  seized,   and  the 


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PBIEL   DA    C08TA.  423 

author  arrested.  His  brothers,*  who  were 
entirely  averse  to  his  opinions,  obtained  his 
release  upon  bail,  and  the  affair  was  com- 
promised by  the  payment  of  300  florins,  and 
the  confiscation  of  the  books. 

From  that  time  the  unhappy  Sadducee 
wandered  more  and  more  widely  in  the  path  of 
error,  and  moreover  gave  up  that  complete 
openness  of  character  with  which,  at  any  rate, 
the  fatal  warfiEure  had  hitherto  been  carried  on. 
He  cast  off  all  belief  in  a  direct  revelation  from 
God,  and  became,  both  in  opinion  and  practice, 
a  complete  Deist ;  but,  tired  with  a  contest  in 
which  all  were  against  him^  and  forsaken  by 
even  his  nearest  relations,  he  resolved  at  all 
events  to  effect  an  outward  reconciliation  with 
the  synagogue.  This  was  obtained  by  the 
mediation  of  one  of  his  cousins, — a  man 
possessed  of  weight  and  consideration  in  the 
community, — ^fifteen  years  after  the  disputes 
had  commenced. 

The  contest,  however,  soon  rekindled  more 
fiercely  than  ever,  to  terminate  only  in  the 
catastrophe,    which    ended    the    melancholy 

•  One  of  his  brothers,  Joseph  da'Costa,  was  the  Presi- 
dent of  the  Parnassim,  to  whom  Menasseh  Ben  Israel 
dedicated  his  Spanish  edition  of  the  **  Hope  of  Israel," 
1650. 


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424  URIEL  BA   C08TA. 

career  of  the  wretched  Saddacee.  Fresh  de« 
clarations  of  his  views  concerning  the  law 
of  Moses  and  the  ordinances  of  the  Rabbins 
were  followed  by  seven  years  of  complete 
isolation,  apart  from  all  his  brethren,  and  in 
the  midst  of  a  nation  whose  language  he  could 
not  speak.  In  this  melancholy  position  he 
determined  a  second  time  to  become  reconciled 
to  the  synagogue,  and  to  submit  to  the  penance 
which  it  imposed  with  inexorable  severity. 
The  well-known  *farUf  stripes  save  one  were 
not  spared,  though  it  is  remarkable  that  after 
this  instance,  we  find  no  mention  made  of  their 
infliction  in  the  modem  history  of  the  syna- 
gogue. The  mind  of  the  wretched  unbeliever 
could  not  bear  up  against  such  a  degradation. 
A  few  days  after  this  exposure  he  put  an  end 
to  his  life  with  a  pistol,  after  haviug,  with  a 
calmness  which  in  such  circumstances  must 
excite  astonishment,  written  his  own  biography 

♦  ThiB  panishment,  which  was  always  inflicted  within 
the  walls  of  the  synagogue,  is  well  known  from  the 
mention  made  of  it  in  the  New  Testament,  2  Cor.  xii.  24 ; 
Acts  xxvi.  11;  Matt  z.  17.  According  to  Jewish 
tradition  this  penalty  was  the  next  in  degree  to  excom- 
munication, and  was  not  looked  upon  as  peculiarly 
degrading.  See  Witsius  in  Yiti  Pauli,  sect  i.,  who  calls 
it  *^  excommunicatione  minor  atque  honestior." 


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SPINOZA.  42«> 

in  excellent  Latin,  in  which  he  protests  with 
the  greatest  vehemence  against  the  acts  of  the 
synagogue.  This  hiography,  entitled  "Ex- 
emplar Vitae  humance,"  which  is  confirmed  in 
every  part  by  concurring  testimony,  fell  into 
the  hands  of  a  distinguished  personage  at 
Amsterdam,  who  gave  a  copy  of  it  to  the 
Eemonstrant  Professor,  Episcopius.  This  copy 
was  left  by  him  to  his  nephew  and  successor, 
Philip  de  Limborch,  who  published  it,  with  a 
refutation  of  the  erroneous  opinions  of  its 
unhappy  author. 

Benedictus  d'Espinosa,  commonly  called 
Spinoza,  belongs  to  the  generation  which  suc- 
ceeded that  of  Uriel  da  Costa.  Their  lives 
and  characters  exhibit  points  of  resemblance 
and  of  difierence,  both  equally  striking.  Both 
were  by  birth  Israelites  from  the  Spanish 
Peninsula,  and  sprung  from  distinguished 
parents;  both  were  cast  off  and  condemned 
by  their  countrymen  and  by  the  synagogue ; 
both,  alas!  were  equally  alienated  from  any 
belief  in  a  personal  and  direct  revelation  of 
God  to  men.  While  one  was  lost  in  the 
dreary  void  of  natural  Deism,  the  other 
plunged  into  the  depths  of  an  elaborate  system 
of  Pantheism.  One,  carried  away  by  the  im- 
petuosity of  his  character,   threw   down  in- 


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426  8PIK0ZA. 

discriminately  error  and  truth,  and  thus  fell  a 
Tictim  to  his  own  madness  ;  the  other,  on  the 
contrary,  built  up  with  astonishing  tranquillity 
of  mind  and  mathematical  accuracy  a  system  of 
philosophy  and  morals  which  has  long  survived 
its  author ;  nay,  amid  the  moral  and  political 
agitation  of  the  present  century,  has  come  to 
life  again  with  renewed  vigour. 

It  would  be  out  of  place  here  to  discuss  the 
system  of  Spinoza  as  unfolded  by  himself  in 
his  "  Tractatus  Theologico-politicus,"  (1760,) 
and  in  his  posthumous  writings,  viz.,  his 
"  Morals  "  and  **  Letters."  In  the  historical 
view  which  we  exclusively  take  we  will  merely 
remark,  that  the  Pantheism  of  Spinoza,  how- 
ever far  removed  from  God  as  revealed  in  the 
Old  Testament,  is  yet  distinguished  by  marked 
characteristics  of  an  Israelitish  origin.  Spinoza 
was  undoubtedly  a  Pantheist;  not  in  that 
grosser  sense  of  the  word  which  substitutes  the 
whole  existing  universe — ^that  is  to  say,  a 
deity  without  life  and  reason — for  the  living 
God  of  creation,  revelation  and  redemption. 
But  he  was  so  in  that  far  more  subtle,  and 
therefore  more  dangerous  sense,  which  at- 
tributes real  existence  to  God  alone  (^^  the 
eternal  and  only  Being,*')  and  admits  of  no 
other  existence,  either  material  or  immaterial, 


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SPINOZA.  427 

visible  or  invisible,  but  as  a  modification  of 
that  one  only  Being,  and  not  as  a  work  apart 
from  God.     Thus,  the  Pantheism  of  Spinoza  is, 
in  fact,  i-eally  derived,  though  by  a  polluted  and 
unholy   channel,  from   a  name  and  a   truth 
which  had  been  revealed, — the  name  of  Him 
who  is  "  I  AM,"  tlic  Jehovah  of  Israel.  It  was 
on  this  foundation  that  the  Judeo-Spanish  phi- 
losopher, though  refusing  to  submit  his  in- 
tellect to  the  historical  tnith  of  the  Old  Testa- 
ment,   or    to  acknowledge    any  interference 
of  God  in  the  affairs  of  the  world,  whether  by 
means  of  miracles  or  any  other  direct  agency, 
formed  for  himself  (out  of  an   idea  which 
he  had  borrowed  from  revelation)  a  system — 
we  might  almost  say  a  religion — the  most  con- 
sistent, perhaps,  and  the  most  conscientious 
of  any  that  have   been  devised  without  the 
pale  of  revelation.      For,  together  with  the 
religious   system   he  had  invented,    he   had 
linked  an  abstract,  but  apparently  fair,  form 
of  morality.      The  two  together  furnish  this 
conclusion:     "We  require    to  know  Grod." 
"  To  know  him  and  to  love  him,  without  look- 
ing for  reward,  is,  in  itself,  the  principle  of  all 
duty  and  of  all  blessedness."     No  one  can 
deny  the  fact,  that  the  practice  of  Spinoza  was 
guided  by  these  principles,  or  we  might  rather 


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428  SPINOZA. 

say,  that  his  whole  system  was  the  creation  of 
a  naturally  elevated  and  noble  character,  joined 
to  a  profound  and  comprehensive  intellect. 
^The  career  of  the  celebrated  Pantheist,  after 
his  expulsion  from  the  synagogue,  was  short, 
and  by  no  means  eventful.  We  vnll,  however, 
recount  a  few  circumstances  that  are  worthy 
of  note.  Bom  at  Amsterdam,  in  1632,  of 
noble  parents  belonging  to  the  Portuguese 
synagogue,  Spinoza  was  in  youth  thoroughly 
instructed  in  the  religion  and  theology  of  the 
Jews.  He  received  lessons  in  Latin  from  the 
physician,  Van  Den  Ende,  whose  sentiments 
are  said  to  have  influenced  those  of  his  pupil. 
The  writings  of  Descartes,  at  all  events,  had  a 
far  greater  share  in  making  Spinoza  a  philoso- 
pher, and  furnishing  the  basis  upon  which  he 
built  his  famous  system.  His  entrance  on 
this  career  soon  began  to  work  in  him  a 
gradual  alienation  from  the  synagogue;  he 
neglected  its  public  services,  and  disputed 
with  the  Rabbins  upon  points  of  religion. 
Every  effort  to  induce  him  to  give  up  his 
opinions  proved  unsuccessful,  and  the  division 
broke  out  publicly.  Spinoza  was  censured  by 
the  synagogue,  and  even  threatened  with  death 
by  the  multitude  as  he  came  out  of  a  public 
meeting.      He   was    thus    obliged    to    leave 


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SPINOZA.  429 

Amsterdam  to  save  his  life,  and  removed  to 
Rynburg,  near  Leyden,  then  to  Voorburg, 
and  finally  to  the  Hague.  Scarcely  had  he 
left  the  capital,  when  the  Rabbins  pronounced 
upon  him  the  great  excommunication ;  against 
which  he  wrote  a  long  protest,  but  never 
published  it.  When  thus  cut  off  from  the 
synagogue,  he  voluntarily  gave  up  his  share 
of  the  family  property,  and  in  future  earned  a 
scanty  livelihood  by  preparing  lenses  and 
optical  glasses,  employing  every  leisure  hour 
in  the  study  of  philosophy  and  the  sciences. 
In  order  to  devote  himself  more  freely  to  these 
pursuits,  he  twice  refused  a  professorship  at 
Heidelburgh,  offered  him  by  the  Elector 
Palatine. 

Though  Spinoza  lived  in  complete  retire- 
ment, he  maintained  an  extensive  acquaintance 
and  correspondence  with  friends  and  learned 
men,  both  in  his  own  country  and  elsewhere. 
Whilst  at  the  Hague,  it  appears  that  he  was 
employed  by  the  Pensionary,  John  de  Witt,  in 
some  political  negotiations,  especially  with  the 
Duke  of  Luxembourg,  at  Utrecht,  during  the 
perilous  year  of  1672.  When  the  Prince  de 
Conde  was  with  the  French  army  in  Holland, 
about  the  same  time,  he  offered  the  philoso- 
pher a  safe-conduct,  that  he  might  have  the 


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430  DJEU  ISAAC   OROBIO   D£   CASTRO. 

pleasure  of  seeing  and  conversing  with  hiou 
About  five  years  after,  Spinoza  died  of  con- 
sumption, and  was  followed  to  the  grave  by  a 
large  attendance.     All  that  is  known  of  his 
private  and    domestic    life    bears  the  same 
impress  of  calmness,  moderation,  and  dignity, 
which  we  have  already  noticed,  and  which 
might  have  made  him  an  ornament  of  the 
Christian  commimity.     In  Spinoza  were  to  be 
found  the  seeds  of  a  Pascal,  if  only  he  could 
have  received  Christianity,  of  which,  indeed, 
he  never  spoke  without  respect  as  a  Divine 
historical  fact;    if  he  had  determined  to  ex* 
amine  its  tenets  apart  from  the  artificial  light 
of  human  speculation ;  if  he  could  but  have 
seen,  that  the  highest  deductions  of  reason  lead 
us  on  to  faith.     But,  alas !   to  him,  as  well  as 
to  many  of  his   imitators,    the  admirers  of 
merely  human  reasoning,  those  words  of  the 
Lord  Jesus  are  applicable,  that  God  ^^  bath 
revealed  unto  babes  things  that  are  hid  from 
the  wise  and  prudent.     Even  so.  Father !  for 
so  it  seemed  good  in  thy  sight." 

Dr.  Isaac  (formerly  Don  Batlliason)  Orobio 
de  Castro  is  the  representative  of  an  entirely 
different  party  among  the  Spanish  and  Fortu* 
guese  Jews,  during  a  period  which  corre- 
sponds with  the  time  of  Spinoza,  and  reaches 


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BB.  ISAAC   OBOBIO   BE   GASTBO.  431 

beyond  it  to  the  latter  half  of  the  seventeenth 
oentuiy.  Both  the  life  and  writings  of  this 
learned  man  bear  the  stamp  of  modem  Phari- 
saical Judaism,  a  contrast  alike  to  Infidel  phi- 
losophy and  to  the  Gospel  of  truth.  He  was 
the  son  of  Je^yish  parents,  who  lived  under 
the  denomination  of  new  Christians  at  Bra^ 
ganza,  in  Portugal,  and  afterwards  at  Malaga, 
Born  in  this  town  about  the  year  1616,  and 
having  studied  at  Alcala  de  Henarez,  he 
taught  medicine  and  metaphysics  at  Seville, 
not  without  falling  under  the  suspicions  of  the 
Inquisition.  Through  the  tale-bearing  of  a 
Moorish  slave,  who  reported  that  a  distinction 
of  meats,  and  other  tokens  of  Judaism^  were 
to  be  met  with  in  liis  house,  Orobio  fell  into 
the  hands  of  that  fearful  tribunal.  After  he 
had  endured  three  years  of  imprisonment,  and 
the  infliction  of  unheard-of  tortures,  the  In* 
quisition  was  still  unable  to  convict  him. 
Obliged,  in  consequence,  to  declare  him  only 
suspected^  but  not  convicted  of  Judaism,  it  was 
content  with  compelling  him  to  leave  the 
country.  Let  us  remark  upon  this  occasion,  a 
striking  difference  between  the  religion  of 
modem  Judaism,  and  the  Christian  faith. 
With  the  Christian,  the  first  effect  of  faith  is 
"  confession"  (Rom.  x.  10) ;  with  the  Jew,  it  is 


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432  DR.  ISAAC   OROBIO   BE   CASTEO. 

the  practice  of  the  law,  either  in  secret  or 
openly,  with  permission  in  time  of  persecution 
to  act  as  best  suits  the  emergency  of  the 
moment  A  striking  and  characteristic  con- 
sequence this  of  the  essential  diflPerence  be* 
tween  a  religion  that  teaches  salvation  through 
a  living  fiedth,  and  that  which  makes  it  de- 
pendent on  outward  meritorious  works, — not, 
indeed,  excluding  martyrdom,  but  not  requir- 
ing it  as  a  matter  of  absolute  necessity,  when 
opportunity  is  offered  for  concealment  or  dis- 
simulation. Thus  Orobio  could  think  he  was 
faithful  to  his  God,  while  in  the  midst  of 
tortures  he  persisted  in  retaining  his  Judaism, 
and  at  the  same  time  denying  that  he  did  so. 
When  released,  he  settled  at  Toulouse,  where 
he  was  appointed  Professor  of  Medicine  and 
Councillor  to  Louis  XIV.  At  last,  wishing 
to  enjoy  the  free  exercise  of  his  religion,  he 
left  France,  and  at  the  age  of  forty  settled  at 
Amsterdam.  He  continued  to  practise  as  a 
physician  in  that  city  till  the  year  of  his 
death,  1686,  and  his  descendants  remain  to 
this  day  in  the  capital  of  Holland.  Among 
his  numerous  polemical  works  in  defence  of 
the  Jewish  religion,  his  controversy  with 
Philip  de  Limborch  was  published  by  that 
learned    Remonstrant,    under    the    title   of 


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THOMAS   D£   FINEDO.  433 

"Friendly  Discussion  with  a  learned  Jew, 
on  the  Truth  of  Christianity."  Other  writ- 
ings of  Orobio's  against  Christianity  remain  to 
our  day,  and  have  circulated  in  manuscript 
among  the  Portuguese  Jews.  Similar  manu* 
scripts  are  to  be  met  with  in  different 
libraries,  the  productions  of  the  Rabbins  Mor- 
teira  and  Saporta. 

Thomas  (called,  in  the  synagogue,  Isaac)  de 
Finedo,  who  came,  nearly  at  the  same  time  as 
Orobio,  to  seek  a  refuge  in  Amsterdam  from 
inquisitorial  persecution,  was  more  famed  for 
his  proficiency  in  Greek  and  the  ancient 
classics,  than  as  a  Jewish  theologian.  De- 
scended from  the  family  of  Finheiro,  of  Fran- 
coso,  in  Portugal,  he  received  his  education 
at  Madrid,  where  he  was  indebted  to  the 
training  of  the  Jesuits  for  his  literary  attain- 
ments. He  had  already  reached  a  mature 
age  when  the  suspicions  of  the  Inquisition 
obliged  him  to  quit  the  scene  of  his  studies 
and  the  society  of  his  learned  friends  in  the 
capital  of  Spain,  to  live  in  safety  in  the  United 
Provinces.  He  differs  from  Orobio  de  Ccutro 
in  this  especially,  that  never,  in  any  of  his 
writings,  has  he  attacked  the  Christian  re- 
ligion; on  the  contrary,  he  takes  pleasure  in 
acknowledging    its    beneficial    influence   in 


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434  THOlfAS   D£   FINEDO. 

society,  thoi^h  he  does  not  spare  the  tribunal 
of  the  Inquisition.  He  finished  and  published 
at  Amsterdam,  in  1678,  his  edition  of  Stepha- 
nus  Byzantinus  (vephrdKiioy)^  with  a  copious 
commentary,  and  dedicated  the  work  to  the 
Marquis  of  Mondejos,  of  the  house  of  Men- 
doza,  ever  devoted  to  the  encouragement  of 
literature.  The  noble  Marquis  whom  we  have 
just  named,  warmly  expressed  in  a  letter  to 
the  Judeo-Spanish  poet,  De  Barrios,  his  regret 
at  the  death  of  Finedo,  and  more  especially  at 
his  dying  in  the  profession  of  Judaism. 

The  Jews  of  the  Peninsula,  even  when 
exiled  to  the  Low  Countries,  continued  to  set 
a  high  value  upon  the  poetry  of  their  an- 
cestors, although  the  period  of  the  great 
masters  in  modern  Hebrew  poetry  had  so  long 
gone  by.  Even  in  Spanish  and  Portuguese 
poetry  they  made  but  moderate  proficiency  in 
Holland,  and  never,  even  in  that,  passed 
mediocrity.  Yet  poetical  and  literary  asso- 
ciations, both  for  Hebrew  and  Spanish,  were 
not  wanting  either  in  the  northern  or  southern 
portion  of  the  Netherlands,  while  distin- 
guished families,  such  as  those  of  Pinto,  Bel- 
monte,  and  Cariel,  willingly  threw  open  their 
houses  on  these  occasions.  Even  the  syna- 
gogue has  witnessed  within  its  walls,  before 


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JUDEO-SPANISH   POETS.  435 

the  reunion  in  1639,  the  representation  of 
pieces  of  poetry,  much  in  the  same  fashion 
as  the  ancient  mystery  plajrs  of  Spain  in  the 
Middle  Ages.  Such  a  piece  of  poetry,  com- 
posed by  the  Judeo-Fortnguese,  Rehuel  Je- 
shurun  (otherwise  Paulo  de  Pina),  was  recited 
in  1624,  in  the  synagogue  of  Beth  Jahacob, 
by  several  of  its  most  learned  and  distin- 
guished members.  In  this  poetical  dialogue 
the  seven  mountains  of  Sinai,  Sion,  Hor, 
Nebo,  Gerizim,  Carmel,  and  Senir  (Sirion), 
mutually  dispute  the  right  of  pre-eminence, 
which  is  decided  at  last  by  the  King,  Jeho- 
shaphat.  Such  entertainments,  however, 
though  not  considered  actually  unlawful, 
were  soon  thought  inconsistent  with  the  holi- 
ness of  a  house  of  prayer.  Besides  the  names 
of  Peixoto,  Beynoso,  Antunes,  Bueno,  Uziel, 
Bosales,  and  Lobo,  we  find  mentioned  among 
the  poetical  geniuses  at  Amsterdam  those  of 
two  distinguished  women,  Isabella  Henriquez 
and  Dona  Isabella  Correa,  The  latter  was 
wife  to  the  Lieutenant-Colonel  Don  Nicholas 
de  Oliver  y  FuUana  (in  the  synagogue,  Daniel 
Juda),  then  in  the  Spanish  service,  and  much 
esteemed  as  a  cosmographer;  he  was  a  fellow- 
labourer  with  Blaeu,  in  the  well-known  Atlas 
of  Spain  and  Portugal,  which  bears  the  name 
V  2 


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436  JUDEO-SFANISH   POETS. 

of  the  latter.  Another  Spanish  poet  of  Jewish 
race  was  Captain  Don  Miguel  de  Barrios, 
whose  "  Coro  de  las  Musas,"  published  before 
he  made  an  open  profession  of  Judaism  at 
Amsterdam,  is  not  wanting  in  poetical  talent ; 
at  all  events,  it  is  infinitely  superior  to  anything 
he  wrote  afterwards,  when  a  member  of  the 
synagogue,  under  the  Jewish  name  of  Daniel 
Levi  de  Barrio.  His  later  compositions  con- 
sist chiefly  of  sonnets  in  praise  of  some  victims 
of  the  Inquisition;  of  epithalamiums  and 
other  fugitive  pieces,  the  principal  value  of 
which  consists  in  the  light  they  throw  on 
some  of  the  distinguished  persons  and  families 
belonging  to  the  synagogue. 

The  eighteenth  century  has  witnessed  an 
almost  entire  extinction  of  poetical  genius 
among  the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  Jews  of 
Holland.  Yet,  from  time  to  time,  some  few 
sparks  of  Hebrew  poetry  have  appeared ;  for 
example,  a  metrical  Hebrew  version  of  Ra- 
cine's "  Athalia,"  by  a  member  of  the  family 
of  Franco  Mendez,  ever  distinguished  in  the 
synagogue  for  cultivated  talents,  as  well  as 
high  rank.  At  that  time,  there  were  some 
poets  who  attempted  to  write  in  Dutch,  but 
their  attempts  never  surpassed  mediocrity, 
and   partook  of  the  frigid  and  constrained 


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PORTUGUESE   JEWS,    ETC.  437 

style  which  characterizes  all  Dutch  poetry 
towards  the  close  of  the  eighteenth  century. 

In  other  branches  of  science  and  letters, 
the  attainments  of  the  Sephardim  in  Holland 
could  never  vie  with  those  of  their  ancestors 
in  the  Spanish  Peninsula ;  perhaps  the  inter- 
mingling of  prosperity  and  oppression  had 
exercised  a  happier  influence  than  the  repose 
which  they  afterwards  enjoyed  without  inter- 
ruption. In  the  United  Provinces  of  the 
Netherlands  the  Spanish  and  Portuguese 
synagogue  was  peculiarly  distinguished  by 
the  vast  capital  it  had  at  command,  and  the 
extensive  commercial  relations  in  which  its 
members  were  engaged  with  Spain,  Portugal^ 
Italy,  the  Levant,  Brazil,  &c. ;  by  an  unble- 
mished celebrity  for  probity  and  honour,  ever 
accompanying  the  immense  riches  and  splendid 
style  of  living  of  its  members ;  lastly,  by  the 
good  and  loyal  services  it  had  offered  and 
rendered  in  more  than  one  critical  period  to 
the  country  and  the  House  of  Orange.  It  is 
not,  therefore,  to  be  wondered  at,  that  the 
Republic  of  the  Netherlands  should,  at  all 
times,  appear  as  a  zealous  protectress  of  the 
rights  of  its  Jewish  subjects  among  foreign 
powers. 

It  was  equally  natural  that  the  great  com* 


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438  PORTTTGUESE   JEWS 

mercial  city  of  Amsterdam  should  be  fixed 
upon  as  a  centre  of  resort  by  the  Portuguese 
emigrants  to  that  country.  While  the  Israel- 
ites who  have  escaped  from  Poland  and  Ger- 
many are  scattered  more  uniformly  over  the 
surface  of  the  provinces,  the  Sephardim,  with 
few  exceptions,  have  hardly  any  synagogues 
without  the  bounds  of  Holland.  In  the  pro- 
vince of  Utrecht,  in  whose  chief  city,  by 
virtue  of  its  ancient  laws,  their  residence  is 
still  forbidden,  they  have  a  numerous  and 
powerful  settlement  at  Maarsa,  a  village 
which,  it  is  said,  the  Jews  once  thought  of 
purchasing  for  themselves,  to  make  it  m  en- 
tirely Jewish  colony.  In  Middleburgh,  the 
capital  of  Zealand,  they  also,  for  a  time,  pos- 
sessed a  synagogue  and  burying-ground. 
There,  among  others,  lived  the  Rabbi  Jacob 
Juda  Leon,  whose  dissertations  on  the  struc- 
ture of  Solomon's  Temple  in  Hebrew  and 
Spanish,  has  obtained  repute  among  Chris- 
tians as  well  as  Jews.  At  Nykerk,  in  Guel- 
derland,  there  remain  to  this  day  the  ruins 
of  an  Italian  Portuguese  synagogue.  In 
Holland  a  considerable  synagogue  of  the 
Sephardim  long  flourished  at  Naarden,  and 
another  at  Rotterdam,  where  among  the  dis- 
tinguished families  we  may  mention  that  of 


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IN   THE   UNITED   PROVINCES.  439 

De  la  Fenha ;  a  meinber  of  that  family  named 
Alexander  was  Consul  for  his  Catholic  Ma^ 
jesty  in  that  city.  His  brother  Joseph,  in 
1697,  received  in  feoff  from  King  William 
the  shores  of  Labrador,  Coste  Eeal,  &c.,  in 
North  America,  which  had  been  discovered 
by  his  vessels,  and  taken  possession  of  in  the 
name  of  the  Prince  of  Orange.  After  Am* 
sterdam,  the  prosperity  and  esteem  gained  by 
the  Portuguese  Jews  has  nowhere  been  higher 
than  at  the  Hague.  In  that  city  many  of  the 
finest  houses  were  built  by  them,  and  long 
inhabited  by  their  descendants*  Their  syna- 
gogue is  situated  in  one  of  the  finest  quarters 
of  the  town.  It  was  during  the  second  half 
of  the  seventeenth  century  that  they  erected 
their  house  of  prayer  and  purchased  their 
burying*ground.  One  of  the  first  Israelites, 
however,  to  whom  letters  of  naturalization 
were  first  granted  at  the  Hague  in  1672,  was 
of  Polish  origin ;  his  descendants,  the  Polak 
Daniels,  are  still  living,  and  in  high  esteem  in 
that  city. 

.  It  was  during  this  time,  and  the  first  twenty 
years  of  the  eighteenth  century,  that  the 
synagogue  of  the  Sephardim  at  Amsterdam 
and  the  Hague  reached  its  greatest  splendour. 
Among  the  families  distinguished  either  by 


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440  PORTUGUESE   JEWS 

ancient  historical  reminiscences,  by  immense 
riches,  or  by  great  political  talent,  sometimes 
by  all  these  together,  we  may  add  to  those 
of  whom  we  have  already  made  mention,  the 
names  of  Osorio,  Levi  Ximenes,  Pereira, 
Salvador,  Lopes  de  Liz,  Machado,  Capadose, 
De  Souza,  Bueno  de  Mesquita,  De  Azevedo, 
Abendana  de  Brito,  Da  Veiga,  Navarro,  De 
Almanza,  and  many  others. 

More  especial  mention  must  be  made  of 
some  individuals  and  families  who  have  dis* 
tinguished  themselves  in  Holland,  as  their 
ancestors  had  done  in  Portugal,  by  their  public 
services  and  their  talents  in  the  diplomatic 
line.  At  Amsterdam,  as  at  Hamburgh,  the 
crowned  heads  of  Sweden,  Denmark,  and 
Prussia,  as  well  as  the  German  states,  em- 
ployed as  their  agents  and  residents  distin- 
guished members  of  the  Portuguese  synagogue. 
Thus,  Francisco  Molo,  who  took  up  his  abode 
at  Amsterdam,  from  the  year  1679,  as  resident 
for  Poland,  rendered  eminent  service  in  up- 
holding the  cause  of  the  European  alliance 
against  the  ambitious  designs  of  Louis  XIV, 
— a  service  which  the  States  of  Holland 
thought  fit  to  recompense,  among  other 
favours,  by  a  remission  of  taxes,  which  was 
then  seldom  granted  to  any  diplomatists  not 


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IN   THE  KETHEBLANDS.  441 

resident  at  the  Hague.  Sir  Williain  Temple, 
who  was  at  that  time  in  Holland,  mentions 
his  surprise  at  two  things  which  he  observed: 
one  was,  that  the  Jews,  in  spite  of  the  cruelties 
they  had  suffered  in  Spain  and  Portugal, 
ceased  not  to  make  use  of  both  these  languages 
in  their  families  as  a  mother  tongue;  the 
other  J  that  the  Kings  of  Spain  and  Portugal  on 
their  side  employed,  as  their  emissaries  and 
residents  at  Amsterdam,  Jews,  who  came  origi- 
nally from  their  own  countries.  For  instance^ 
during  more  than  a  century  and  a  half,  the 
femily  of  Nunez  da  Costa  (in  the  synagogue, 
Curiel)  held  the  office  of  general  agent  to  the 
Crown  of  Portugal,  with  the  title  of  gentleman 
of  the  royal  household.  In  the  same  manner, 
Don  Manuel  Baron  de  Belmonte  was  employed 
as  the  Spanish  resident  in  Holland  for  forty 
years,  from  1664 — 1704;  his  services  were 
eminently  successful  in  keeping  up  a  good 
understanding  and  firm  alliance  between  these 
two  powers  against  the  ambition  of  France. 
His  nephew,  the  Baron  de  Ximenes  Belmonte, 
succeeded  him  in  the  same  office,  which,  how- 
ever, ceased  to  exist  when  the  Bourbons  were 
firmly  established  on  the  throne  of  Spain. 

History  mentions  another  member  of  the 
family  who,  in  the  same  period,  1678 — 1702, 
IJ  8 


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442  .  POBTUOUE8E   JBWS 

was  employed  as  envoy  by  the  Prince  of 
Orange,  then  King  of  England,  to  the  Couit 
of  Spain,  and  also  as  plenipotentiary  of  the 
States-General  at  the  same  court  and  that  of 
Portugal.  Monsieur  de  Schoonenburg,  an- 
other member  of  the  Belmonte  family,  did  not 
gain  less  distinction  during  his  long  career,  by 
the  penetration,  fidelity,  and  zeal  which  he 
displayed,  both  for  the  interests  of  his  own 
master  and  the  house  of  Austria,  which  he 
served  with  all .  the  power  and  influence  he 
possessed  in  Spain,  during  the  debate  attend- 
ing the  succession  of  King  Charles  II.  in  that 
country.*  The  Austrian  claimant,  afterwards 
Emperor  of  Germany  by  the  name  of 
Charles  VI.,  acknowledged  his  services  by 
presenting  him  with  a  marquisate  in  the 
German  Netherlands. 

Among  all  the  sovereigns  of  Europe  and 
princes  of  Orange,  it  was  especially  during  the 
lifetime  of  William  III.,  the  Stadtholder  and 
King  of  Great  Britain,  and  by  his  influence, 
that  Israelites  by  religion  as  well  as  birth 
were  employed  and  even  preferred  to  fill  con- 

•  See  the  Memoirs  of  Lamberti,  "  Spain  under  Charles 
the  Second ;  or,  Extracts  from  the  Correspondence  of  the 
Hon.  Alexander  Stanhope,  1690—1699."  (London,  1840), 
pp.  32—112,  154. 


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IN   THE   NETHERLANDS.  443 

fidential  posts  in  matters  of  difdomacy.     Nor 
was  it  to  this  prince  alone,  among  those  of  the 
house  of  Nassau,  that  the  Jews  of  Spain  and 
Portugal  testified  their  unalterable  attachment. 
Both  the  German  and  Portuguese  synagogues 
at  all  times  shared  the  same  feelings  of  un- 
shaken fidelity  to  the  members  of  that  illus- 
.  trious  dynasty.    The  noble  families  especially, 
both  at  Amsterdam   and   the  Hague,  haye 
given  proof  of  their  devotedness  in  time  of 
adversity  as  well  as  prosperity.    On  their  side, 
the  stadtholders  of  the  house  of  Nassau,  from 
Frederic  Henry  downwards,  have  continued  to 
give  marks  of  their  esteem  for  and  interest  in 
these  families,  both  in  public  and  in  private. 
Till  the  reign  of  William  V.   inclusive,  no 
stadtholder  of  Holland  had  ever  failed  to  pay 
at  least  one  visit  of  ceremony  to  each  of  the 
great  synagogues  of  Amsterdam.     The  stadt* 
holder  Frederic  Henry  came,  accompanied  by 
his  son,  William  II.,  the  Queen  of  England, 
and  the  princess,  her  daughter,  betrothed  to 
the  young  prince.     On  this  occasion,  the  col- 
lege of  Parnassim  offered  to  the  stadtholder  a 
present  of  wrought  silver,  of  the  value  of  two 
thousand  florins,   which  was    graciously  ac- 
cepted.     The  Kabbi  Menasseh    Ben    Israel 
complimented   the   illustrious  visitors  in   an 


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444  P0RTUG0E8S   JEWS 

elegant  Spanish  oration,  in  which  he  compared 
the  house  of  Nassau  to  the  ancient  Maccabees 
of  Israel. 

The  eighteenth  century  was  for  Europe  in 
general,  as  it  was  for  the  Sephaidim  in  par- 
ticular, a  period  of  degeneracy  in  many 
respects.  The  zeal  and  actiyity  which  the 
Portuguese  Jews  had  formerly  evinced,  in  so 
many  various  departments,  was  superseded  in 
many  by  the  indolence  which  accompanies  an 
excess  of  luxury,  the  produce  in  part  of  their 
great  prosperity  and  complete  security.  Gam* 
ing  usurped  for  a  time  the  place  of  that  com-* 
merce  with  the  East,  South,  and  West,  which 
their  fathers  had  carried  on  so  successfully, 
both  for  their  own  benefit  and  that  of  the 
country  in  which  they  lived.  Their  manners 
were  changed,  and  became  more  corrupt. 
Religion,  though  its  outward  ceremonies  were 
rigidly  practised,  no  longer  possessed  that  in-* 
ward  hold  which  had  often  led  men  to  brave 
the  flames  of  the  Inquisition,  and  to  abandon 
rank,  possessions,  and  country,  to  serve  (accord- 
ing to  their  conscience,  though  in  error)  the 
God  of  Israel,  and  avoid  bowing  down  before 
an  image.  Even  the  glory  of  their  ancient 
reminiscences  degenerated  into  an  object  of 
vanity  and  party  spirit,  in  which  the  origin 


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IN   THE  NETHERLANDS.  443 

itself  of  these  boasted  distinctions  was  forgot- 
ten,  while  the  aristocracy  of  money  exercised 
the  greatest  influence.  On  the  other  hand,  a 
frequent  and  increasing  intimacy  with  the 
language,  literature,  and  philosophy,  as  well 
as  with  French  vanity  and  manners,  exercised 
a  most  pernicious  influence  over  that  portion 
of  the  Jews  in  Holland,  who  at  that  time  were 
naturally  more  exposed  than  their  brethren  of 
the  German  synagogue  to  the  seductions  and 
the  danger  of  an  entirely  worldly  civilization. 
The  few  literary  works  which  the  Sephardim 
in  the  Low  Countries  produced  during  that 
time  of  decay,  were  almost  exclusively  written 
in  the  French  spirit  and  style,  as  well  as  in 
the  language,  then  becoming  more  and  more 
general,  of  the  same  seductive  nation. 

A  well-known  member  of  the  Portuguese 
synagogue  at  Amsterdam  in  particular,  had 
made  successful  use  of  this  language  in  the 
latter  part  of  the  preceding  century.  Isaac  de 
Pinto  was  author  of  the  "Remarques  Critiques," 
upon  an  article  concerning  the  Jews,  in  Vol- 
taire's famous  "  Philosophical  Dictionary."  In 
these  remarks,  though  they  are  well  written  and 
not  wanting  in  spirit,  the  author  seems  to  have 
allowed  prudence  to  get  the  better,  when 
treating  the  enemies  of  Christianity  and  of  the 


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446  PORTUGUESE  JEWS 

Jewish  nation  with  such  excessive  politeness 
that  the  point  of  his  arguments  is  completely 
hlunted.  The  Materialists  also  found  in  De 
Pinto  a  skilful  adversary;  though,  in  defending 
the  doctrine  of  the  immortality  of  the  soul,  he 
assumed  too  much  the  position  of  a  Deist.  He 
has  written,  besides,  some  treatises  on  political 
economy,  which  are  well  thought  of,  especially 
one  upon  luxury.  On  the  whole,  this  Israelite, 
distinguished  both  by  his  talents  and  position 
in  society,  has  rendered  eminent  service  to  his 
nation,  both  in  Holland  and  in  France.  He 
also  served  the  country  in  which  he  lived  in 
time  of  need.  For  instance,  during  the  siege 
of  6ergen-op-Zoom,  he,  with  some  others,  came 
to  the  relief  of  the  exhausted  treasury,  and 
furnished  capital  at  very  low  interest  from  his 
own  funds,  and  those  of  his  rich  coreligionists. 
This  generosity  obtained  for  him  a  letter  from 
Van  Hogendorp,  the  Receiver-General,  in 
which  he  is  congratulated  on  having  saved  the 
State. 

Very  different  were  the  services  rendered 
by  the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  Jews  in  the 
colonies,  and  especially  the  West  Indies.  In 
the  East  Indies  they  were  never  numerous,  at 
least  in  the  Dutch  possessions.  We  only  find 
the  fact  noticed,  that,  in  1686,  some  Portuguese 


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IN   THE  COLONIES.  447 

Jews  from  Amsterdam  visited  their  Israelitish 
brethren  at  Cochin,  where,  since  the  establish- 
ment of  the  Dutch,  their  position  had  been 
much  ameliorated.  Moses  Pereira  de  Paiva,  a 
famous  traveller,  published  some  details  con- 
cerning these  Eastern  Jews  in  1687. 

The  Jews  from  the  Peninsula,  established 
themselves  in  America,  almost  immediately 
after  the  discovery  of  the  New  World.  We 
find  them  directly  after  the  exile  of  1497, 
bearing  in  Brazil  the  name  of  New  Christians, 
without  being  pursued  by  the  Inquisition^  but 
sent  there  by  the  Government  as  a  kind  of 
banishment  The  number  of  Jews  in  that 
country  was  soon  considerably  increased  by 
arrivals  of  their  brethren  from  France;  and 
they  began  to  acquire  a  greater  degree  of  influ- 
ence than  the  Catholic  Government  of  Portugal 
could  tolerate,  when  the  conquest  of  the  coun- 
try by  the  arms  of  Holland  brought  about  a 
complete  change  of  position,  entirely  in  favour 
of  the  Jewish  population.  From  that  moment, 
considerable  bodies  of  Jews  sailed  for  Brazil 
from  the  ports  of  Holland,  accompanied  by  two 
Rabbins,  Aboab  and  De  Aquiiar,  to  found  a 
Jewish  colony.  They  soon  attained  consider- 
able prosperity  and  influence  by  the  cultivation 
of  land,   manufactures,  and  an  active  trade 


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448  PORTUQUESB  JEWS 

carried  on  with  their  brethren  in  Holland. 
The  Dntch  Government,  and  especially  the 
Governor,  Count  John  Maurice  de  Nassau, 
was  not  backward  in  appreciating  the  services 
of  the  Jews,  and  encouraging  them  by  the 
entire  toleration  of  their  religion,  and  by  every 
mark  of  distinction  and  courtesy.  In  what 
their  services  consisted,  is  plainly  told  in  ad 
ordinance  from  the  States-General,  dated  in 
the  year  1645,  in  which  *^  the  persons,  goods, 
and  rights  of  the  Jews  in  Brazil  were  taken 
under  the  special  protection  of  the  Govern* 
ment,  because  of  the  fidelity  and  courage  which 
that  nation  had  on  every  occasion  displayed 
towards  the  said  Government."  In  truth, 
history  bears  witness  how  much  the  Jews  dis- 
tinguished themselves  by  their  valour,  both  at 
the  time  of  the  conquest,  and  in  the  defence  of 
Brazil  by  the  Dutch  against  the  Spaniards 
and  Portuguese.  One  of  the  Fintos  was  killed 
at  his  post  while  bravely  defending  one  of  the 
fortresses.  In  the  perilous  times  of  1645  and 
1654,  great  services  were  also  rendered  by  the 
Portuguese  family  of  Cohen,  who  furnished 
the  Dutch,  as  well  as  the  Jews,  with  ammuni- 
tion and  provisions.  In  1654,  the  possession 
of  Brazil  was  lost  for  ever  to  the  Dutch,  and 
in  consequence  to  the  Jews  also,  as  a  residence, 


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IN   THE   COLONIES.  449 

with  free  exercise  of  their  religion,  when  that 
country  became  again  a  colony  of  Portugal. 
The  Portuguese  Viceroy  granted  to  the  numer- 
ous Jewish  population  some  further  time  to 
arrange  their  a'ffairs,  and  thirty  vessels,  with  a 
safe-conduct,  to  convey  them  to  Holland. 

A  considerable  portion  of  these  Brazilian 
Jews  established  themselves  in  another  part  of 
the  New  World.  The  Dutch  West  India 
Company,  by  an  Act,  dated  September  12, 
1659,  granted  to  David  (Cohen)  Nasi,  exten- 
sive rights  and  liberties  at  Cayenne,  for  himself 
and  his  companions.  Their  number  and  re-' 
sources  were  soon  increased  by  the  arrival  of 
several  Portuguese  families  from  Leghorn. 
The  progress  of  the  colony  was,  however,  hin- 
dered by  war ;  first,  with  Portugal,  and  then 
with  France,  which,  in  1664,  took  the  country 
from  the  Dutch  and  the  Jews. 

More  lasting,  and,  therefore,  more  worthy  of 
interest,  was  the  settlement  made  at  Surinam, 
by  the  Portuguese  Jews  from  different  coun- 
tries, but  especially  from  Holland.  Lord 
Willoughby,  who  obtained  from  Charles  II., 
in  1662,  a  charter  for  the  colonization  of  that 
country,  endeavoured  by  favours  and  consider- 
able privileges  to  attract  thither  the  Israelites 
and  their  commerce.      Many  industrious  and 


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450  PORTUGUESE   JEWS 

even  distinguished  Portuguese  Jews,  who  had 
retired  from  Cayenne,  came  to  Surinam,  where, 
in  three  years'  time,  the  banks  of  the  riveir 
were  adorned  with  forty  or  fifty  plantations, 
and  a  population  of  about  four  thousand. 

The  privileges  granted  by  the  first  English 
possessors  placed  the  Hebrew  nation  (as  they 
are  designated  in  the  general  privilege,  signed 
by  the  Secretary,  Parry,  in  1665)  on  a  footing 
of  entire  equality  with  the  English ;  while,  at 
the  same  time,  the  most  ample  liberty  was 
secured  to  them  in  matters  of  religion,*  Sab- 
baths, feast4lays,  marriages,  and  wills. 

The  privileges  secured  to  the  Jews  by  the 
Dutch  West  India  Company,  and  especially 
by  Lord  Willoughby,  formed  the  basis  of  that 
social  position  and  prosperity  which  they  have 
at  all  times  enjoyed  in  the  colony  of  Surinam. 

During  the  war  with  England  (1665-67). 
the  Dutch  made  themselves  masters  of  this 
colony,  which  at  the  peace  of  Breda  was 
secured  to  that  Republic,  to  the  great  dissatis- 
&ction  of  Willoughby,  who  immediately 
ordered  all  English  subjects  to  leave  the 
country.     A  considerable  number  of  Portu- 

•  See  "  Historical  Essay  on  the  Colony  of  Surinam,'* 
1788.  By  Lindo.  Second  Part.  Pp.  123—125,  381 
—383. 


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IN   THE   COLONIES.  451 

guese  families  left  at  the  same  time,  and  went 
with  the  English  to  form  a  colony  at  Jamaica, 
where  (as  well  as  in  the  French  colony  of  the 
Martinico)  the  cultivation  of  the  sugar-cane 
was  very  greatly  improved,  owing  to  the  settle* 
ment  of  these  Jews, 

Meanwhile,  the  Dutch  Government  still 
found  iaithful  and  industrious  subjects  among 
the  Jews  of  the  Savanna,  in  Surinam.  Great 
service  was  rendered  by  various  members  of  the 
families  of  Pinto  da  Fonseca,  Arias,  Naar,  De 
Brito,  D'Avilar,  both  in  the  vigorous  defence  of 
the  colony  in  1689,  against  the  French  squadron, 
under  Admiral  Cassard,  and  in  the  wars 
which  were  carried  on  both  in  that  century 
and  the  succeeding  one  against  the  Indians 
and  Negroes ;  another,  David  Nasi,  met  with 
death  in  his  thirty-first  campaign  against  the 
latter,  in  the  year  1743,  at  the  age  of  seventy. 
Another  member  of  the  same  family  had  much 
distinguished  himself  in  the  war  with  France, 
and  by  this  means  so  much  excited  the  jealousy 
of  the  Governor,  that,  for  the  sake  of  his 
brethren,  he  thought  it  best  to  leave  the 
colony,  and  retire  to  Amsterdam,  where, 
together  wijh  the  Baron  de  Belmonte,  he 
ceased  not  to  take  the  part  of  the  Jews  at 
Surinam  in   their  disputes  with  the  Govern- 


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462       PORTUGUESE   JEWS   IN   THE   COLONIES. 

ment  of  that  colony.  These  disputes,  a  natural 
consequence  of  the  close  contact  in  which  the 
Jews  lived  with  the  Christian  colonists,  in  no 
way  lessened  the  acknowledged  and  unshaken 
fidelity  of  the  Jews  to  the  Government  of  the 
mother  country,  and  to  the  House  of  Orange. 
They,  however,  tended  to  diminish  the  pros- 
perity of  the  synagogue  at  Surinam,  especially 
when  internal  dissensions  arose  among  the 
Jewish  people  themselves.  In  our  days  the 
very  failing  condition  of  the  colony  in  general 
has  certainly  not  had  a  more  favourable  effect 
upon  the  prosperity  of  the  Jews.  Some  time  after 
the  establishment  of  the  Portuguese  synagogue 
at  Surinam,  the  German  Jews  also  settled 
there,  and,  before  long,  especially  since  the 
close  of  the  eighteenth  century,  they  have 
risen  to  be  on  a  par  with  their  brethren  in 
civilization  and  esteem. 

At  Curafoa,  originally  a  Spanish  colony, 
but,  after  many  vicissitudes,  possessed  by  the 
Dutch,  the  Portuguese  Jews  were  early 
esfeblished.  They  had  not,  however,  built  a 
synagogue  before  the  eighteenth  century,  and 
then  one  was  speedily  followed  by  a  second. 
Now,  the  Portuguese  Jewish,  population, 
formerly  flourishing  and  numerous,  is  reduced 
to  less  than  a  thousand  souls. 


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PORTUGUESE   JEWS   IN   ENGLAND.         453 

At  New  York  a  Portuguese  synagogue  still 
exists,  apparently  built  at  the  time  when  that 
city  was  still  within  the  Dutch  territories.  At 
Philadelphia,  and  some  other  towns  of  the 
United  States,  Portuguese  synagogues  have 
continued  to  exist  to  the  present  time. 

When  Oliver  Cromwell  governed  Great 
Britain,  three  centuries  and  a-half  had  elapsed 
since  the  time  when  the  Jews  were  banished 
from  England  by  Edward  I.  The  period 
seemed  then  arrived  for  the  country  to  open  its 
ports  to  a  nation  which  had  already  been 
received  on  the  Continent,  both  by  Roman 
Catholic  and  Protestant  powers. 

Cromwell,  who  on  religious  motives  was 
well  inclined  to  re-admit  the  Jews,  also  well 
knew  and  understood  as  a  statesman  the 
advantages  that  might  be  gained  in  a  political 
point  of  view  from  the  extensive  connexions  of 
the  Spanish  Jews.  The  time  was,  therefore,  as 
happily  chosen  as  the  man,  when,  as  we  have 
already  told,  the  Jews  sent  Menasseh  Ben 
Israel  to  England,  to  request  permission  for 
the  Israelitish  nation  to  reside  and  enjoy  the 
free  exercise  of  their  religion  in  England, 
Scotland,  and  Ireland.  The  request  was  made 
in  two  remarkable  addresses  to  the  Lord  Pro- 
tector  and  to  the  Republic,  in  which,  among 


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454    PORTUGUESE  JEWS  IN  ENGLAND; 

other  subjects,  the  writer  expresses  his  fiill 
expectation  of  a  speedy  return  of  the  Jewish 
people  to  the  land  of  their  fathers.  The  Pro- 
tector called  together  an  assembly  of  clei^y, 
lawyers,  and  merchants  at  Whitehall,  to  ask 
their  opinion  upon  the  matter.  He  declared 
himself  in  this  assembly  openly  and  warmly 
in  favour  of  the  re-admission  of  the  Jews, 
because  of  the  great  promises  in  Holy  Scrip- 
ture attached  to  their  conversion,  and  the 
honour  and  interest  it  would  bring  to  the 
Christian  Church.  An  eye-witness  of  the 
meeting  declares  that  he  never  heard  any  one 
so  eloquent  as  the  Protector  when  pleading 
the  cause  of  the  Jews.  Yet  it  was  entirely  in 
vain;  the  majority,  especially  of  the  clergy 
and  merchants,  declared  themselves  opposed  to 
the  re-admission  of  the  Jews.  Thus  the  question 
was  deferred,  and  the  Jews  meanwhile  to- 
lerated by  a  kind  of  connivance,  in  virtue  of  a 
special  permission  from  the  Protector,  but  not 
as  English  subjects,  or  as  forming  an  Israelitish 
synagogue.  It  appears,  however,  that  nearly 
at  the  same  period  a  piece  of  land  was  granted 
to  them  as  a  burial-ground,  on  a  nominal  lease 
of  nine  hundred  and  ninety-nine  years.  Leave 
to  build  a  synagogue  in  London,  and,  conse- 
quently, free  permission  to  reside  and  prac* 


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PORTCOUESE   JEWS    IN    ENGLAND.         455 

tise  their  religion,  was  at  last  granted  to  them 
in  the  reign  of  Charles  II.,  1666.  Perhaps 
there  may  be  some  connecting-link  between 
this  event  and  the  remarkable  circumstance 
that  the  negotiations  for  the  King's  marriage 
to  the  Infanta,  Catherine  of  Portugal,  were 
carried  on  by  General  Monk  through  the  in- 
tervention of  a  Portuguese  Jew. 

It  is  an  ascertained  fact,  that  the  Infanta 
was  accompanied  to  England  by  two  Portu- 
guese brothers,  one  of  whom,  Dr.  Antonio 
Mendez,  had  been  Professor  of  Medicine  at 
Coimbra,  and  at  the  request  of  the  Infanta 
established  himself  in  London,  where,  from 
that  time,  both  his  brother  and  himself  openly 
professed  the  religion  of  Moses.  Their  de- 
scendants have  since  borne  the  name  of 
Mendez  da  Costa.*  Since  that  time  the  Por« 
tuguese  synagogue  in  London  has  been 
greatly  increased  by  the  number  of  dis- 
tinguished fiunilies  who  have  migrated  thither 
even  from  Spain  and  Portugal,  but  especially 
from  the  Netherlands.  These  families  have 
lived  and  prospered  in  London,  particularly 
since  the  reign  of  King  William,  on  the  same 
footing  as  those  at  Amsterdam  and  the  Hague, 

•  Lindo's  ^^Histoiy  of  the  Jews  in  Spain  and  Por- 
tugal,'' p.  S50. 


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456         POBTUOUESE   JEWS   IN   ENGIAND. 

with  whom  they  were  often  connected  by 
relationship. 

Here,  as  in  Holland,  they  have  also  given 
proof  of  their  faithful  attachment  to  the  Gro- 
vemment  and  the  Crown,  which  they  have 
been  ever  ready  to  aid  with  their  persons 
or  their  fortunes.  The  principal  families 
belonging  to  this  synagogue  are  those  of 
Ximenes,  Cardoso,  Lopez,  Bemal,  Gomez 
Sera,  De  Chaves,  Fernandes  Nunes,  De 
Almeida,  and  Bravo.  The  well-known  Member 
of  Parliament  and  political  economist,  David 
Ricardo,  belonged  by  birth  to  the  Portuguese 
synagogue;  his  father,  who  was  the  younger 
son  of  a  Spanish  family  at  Amsterdam,  having 
formerly  settled  in  England. 

Among  the  learned  men  and  authors  re- 
corded in  the  annals  of  the  English  Sephardim 
we  may  mention  Rabbi  Abendana,  translator 
of  the  "  Khusari  of  Hallevi ; "  as  well  as  Babbi 
David  Nieto,  bom  at  Venice,  and  made  Chief 
Rabbi  in  London  in  the  year  1701.  He  wrote 
several  works  on  theology  in  Portuguese,  and 
in  Italian  a  ^^  Pascologia,'*  in  which  he  en- 
deavours to  reconcile  the  differences  between 
the  Jewish  calendar  and  that  of  the  Greek  and 
Latin  Church  regarding  the  feast  of  Easter. 
He  wrote,  besides,  some  rather  severe  strictures 


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PORTUGUESE  JEWS  IN  ENGLANp.    457 

upon  the  proceedings  of  the  Inquisitioii  as  late 
as  the  time  of  John  IV.  of  Portugal.  To  the 
English  synagogue  also  belonged  Rabbi  Jacob 
(Henriques)  de  Castro  Sarmiento,  bom  at 
Braganza,  in  1691,  who  established  himself  in 
London  in  1721,  where  his  great  acquirements 
in  natural  science  caused  him  to  be  chosen  a 
member  of  the  Royal  Society,  and  presented 
with  the  degree  of  Doctor  by  the  University  of 
Aberdeen.  An  interesting  specimen  of  Jewish 
literature  in  England  appears  in  a  poetical 
version  of  the  Psalms,  made  in  1720,  by 
Daniel  Israel  Lyra  Laguna,  with  the  title  of 
"  A  feithfal  Mirror  of  Life/'  This  work  is 
also  worthy  of  notice  on  account  of  the  differ- 
ent specimens  of  Spanish,  Latin,  and  even 
English  poetry  in  praise  of  its  author,  with 
which  his  friends  accompanied  the  publication. 
After  1713,  Great  Britain  had  Spanish- 
Jewish  subjects  on  a  soil  which  had  originally 
been  Spanish.  By  the  treaty  of  Utrecht, 
Gibraltar  remained  annexed  to  the  Crown  of 
Great  Britain,  by  whom,  conjointly  with  the 
Dutch,  this  celebrated  fortress  had  been  over- 
come. The  Crown  of  England  had,  however, 
made  an  agreement  with  his  Catholic  Majesty, 
that  neither  Jew  nor  Moor  should  be  tolerated 
in  the  city.    Before  long,  the  English  Govern- 


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458         PORTUGUESE  JEWS   IN   ENGLAKD. 

ment  obtained  from  the  Spanish  monarck  per- 
mission to  admit  ^Mporish  ships  into  the  port, 
and  in  time  Jewish  settlors  were  also  allowed. 
They  soon  established  themselves,  and  multi- 
plied to  such  a  degree,  that  at  the  present  time 
there  exists  a  Jewish  population  of  about  1,600 
souls,  with  four  synagogues.  The  connexion 
which  subsists  between  the  acknowledged  and 
the  concealed  Israelites  who  are  to  be  met  with 
to  this  day  in  Spain,  is  a  secret  to  no  one. 
Among  others,  the  former  well^-known  Spanish 
minister,  Mendizabel,  was  the  son  of  a  Jewish 
resident  at  Gibraltar. 

With  regard  to  Spain  itself  at  the  present 
time,  though  Jews  may  travel,  and  even 
remain  in  the  country  without  danger,  yet 
there  exists  no  law  to  secure  to  them  their 
religious  liberty  in  the  ancient  abode  of  their 
fathers.  In  Portugal,  on  the  contrary,  since 
1820,  they  have  possessed  a  public  synagogue 
in  the  capital,  an  example  which  has  also 
been  followed  by  thp  Government  of  Brazil, 
while  in  the  emancipated  states  of  America, 
which  were  originally  Spanish,  the  Jews  in 
pur  time  no  longer  encounter  persecution. 

We  have  given  in  this  book,  as  in  a  sepa- 
rate  picture,  a  review  of  the  history  of  the 
Sephardim,  as  distinct  from  the  rest  of  their 


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PORTUGUEQE  JEWB   IN  ENGLANQ.    459 

brethren  in  the  midst  of  that  universal  dis- 
persion of  the  Jewish  people  which  followed 
the  destruction  of  Jerusalem*  The  condnding 
portion  of  our  sketch  will  refer  exclusively  to 
the  other  division  of  the  dispersed  nation,  or 
will  view  both  taken  together  as  a  whole. 
What  is  chiedy  to  be  observed  in  the  present 
day  with  respect  to  the  Jewish  nation  is,  the 
decline  of  the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  Jews, 
and  the  remarkable  social  development  of 
another  diffisrent  portion  of  the  same  extraor- 
dinary nation.  It  is  as  if  the  two  had  divided 
between  them  the  past  and  the  present  If 
the  past  presents  to  the  former  more  glorious 
reminiscences,  the  present  appears  to  belong 
more  especially  to  the  latter.  But  of  what  im- 
portance is  iti  The  future  acknowledges  no 
such  distinction  !  The  future,  acpording  to  the 
promise  of  God  in  Christ  Jesus  their  Saviour 
and  their  King,  belongs  equally  to  both :  it  is 
given  to  the  ^'nation  of  the  twelve  tribes" 
undivided. 


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BOOK  IV. 

THE  JEWS  AND  THE  REFORMATION. 

Having  now  brought  to  a  close  a  review  of 
the  history  of  the  Sephardim,  we  must,  for  a 
short  time,  retrace  our  steps.  From  the  period 
of  the  Reformation,  in  the  sixteenth  century, 
we  will  resume  that  thread  of  events  which 
we  have  lately  followed  through  a  less  thorny 
path,  amid  the  sad  wilderness  of  Israel's  his- 
tory since  the  rejection  of  his  Messiah,  and  the 
fall  of  his  temple  and  city.  What  we  propose 
to  ourselves  in  this  last  portion  of  our  work  is, 
to  exhibit  the  principal  features  of  the  destiny, 
and  the  most  striking  situations  in  which  the 
exiled  nation  have  been  placed,  from  the  time 
of  the  Reformation  until  the  commencement 
of  the  revolutionary  period  at  the  close  of  the 
eighteenth  century;  and  again  from  that 
epoch  to  the  middle  of  the  present  century. 
We  will  then  conclude  the  past  and  present 
history  of  Israel,  with  casting  a  glance  upon 
their  future  prospects,   especially  considered, 


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THE   JEWS   AND   THE   BEFORMATION.      461 

as  heretofore,  in  its  connexion  with,  and  rela^ 
tion  to»  the  Gentiles. 

From  the  very  beginning  of  their  history — 
from  the  very  rise  of  that  nation  sprang  from  ' 
the  seed  of  Abraham  and  Jacob,  this  people 
have  ever  had  quite  a  peculiar  share  in  all  the 
great  events  which  have  from  time  to  time 
changed  the  face  of  the  world.  In  these 
events  they  have  had  their  influence,  their  co- 
operation, and,  as  regards  their  temporal 
existence  at  least,  they  have  ever  been  more 
or  less  directly  interested  in  the  movements 
which  have  agitated  the  nations.  In  more 
than  one  respect  was  the  reciprocal  influence 
of-  the  dispersed  yet  ever-preserved  people  of 
Israel  intimately  felt  in  connexion  with  the 
reformation  of  part  of  the  Christian  Church, 
just  when  the  period  of  the  Middle  Ages  was 
superseded  by  a  new  order  of  things  in  the 
destinies  of  Europe  and  of  the  world. 

The  dawning  of  the  Reformation,  in  the 
sixteenth  century,  was  brought  about  under 
God's  guiding  providence  over  the  Church, 
the  world,  and  mankind,  by  an  increase  and 
shedding  abroad  of  light  in  every  branch  of 
knowledge  and  human  science,  more  especially 
in  literature  and  languages;  above  all,  the 
two  idioms,  in  one  of  which  all  the  writings 


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4fi[2f'  THE  JEWS   AND 

of  thcf  Nefw  T^cfstament,  uni  iri  the  other,  those 
of  the  Old,  had  been  committed  to  the  Church 
of  all  ages-  The  rchdval  of  the  stady  of 
Hebrew  led,  as  a  natural  consequence,  to  the 
renewed  study  of  Moses  and  the  prophets  in 
the  original,  and  which,  during  the  last  thou- 
sand years,  had  become  almost  unknown  to 
the  Christian  Church,  haying  been  preserved 
exclusively  in  the  schools  and  writings  of  the 
Jews.  In  the  Roman  Catholic  world  Latin 
had  become,  ^^par  excellence^'  or,  sather,  ex- 
clusively the  holy  tongue,  the  Vulgate  having 
superseded  and  cast  into  oblivion  the  original 
Hebrew  and  Greek.  The  time  had  long  since 
passed  by  when  a  Jefoine  received  instruction 
from  an  Israelite  in  learning  the  language  of 
Canaan,  that  he  might  make  translations  for 
the  benefit  of  the  Church,  But  the  ten  cen- 
turies of  the  Middle  Ages  had  not  yet  quite 
elapsed  before  the  knowledge  of  the  Hebrew 
language  began  to  reappear  in  the  labours  of 
Nicholas  de  Lyra,  in  the  fourteenth  century, 
jn-eparing,  as  it  wercf,  a  way  for  the  Reformers. 
In  Spain,  where,  during  the  same  period, 
the  Jews  alone  had  spread  the  light  of  their 
Hebrew  and  rabbinical  learning,  we  have  seen 
Paul  of  Burgos  completing  and  purifying  the 
Fostills  of  De  Lyra.     In  that  country,  also,  a 


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THB   E£POBMATIOK.  463 

short  time  before  the  appearance  of  Luther, 
the  celebrated  Cardinal  Xinienes  conimitted 
the  Hebrew  text  of  his  Polyglot  Bible  to  the 
dharge  of  three  learned  men  of  Jewish  descent. 
Soon  after, — thanks  to  the  good  services  of  the 
Jewish  press,  their  whole  stores  of  grammar 
and  rabbinical  exegesis  were  at  the  disposition 
of  the  theologians  of  the  Christian  Church,  to 
extract  and  gather  thence  all  that  might  be 
made  of  service  for  the  literal  interpretation  of 
Holy  Scripture*  Even  before  the  trumpet 
sounded  firom  Wittenberg  over  the  world,  in 
Grermany  as  well  as  in  Italy  the  Talmudic 
and  Cabbalistic  writings  of  the  Jews  were 
already  known.  The  celebrated  Prince  John 
Pico  di  Mirandola,  towards  the  close  of  the 
fifteenth  century,  was  so  deeply  devoted  tOj 
and  SO  much  prepossessed  in  farour  of,  the 
latter  works,  that  he  looked  upon  them  as  the 
source  of  all  kinds  of  vnsdom,  and  laboured  to 
prove  by  their  means  the  truths  of  the  Gospel. 
A  similar  prepossession  had  spread  even  in 
Italy,  where,  during  all' the  former  half  of  the 
sixteenth  century,  many  converted  Jews  had 
contributed  to  make  known  the  writings  of 
their  former  coreligionists  by  reftiting  them. 
The  same  quarter  of  a  century  in  which 
Luther's  testimony  held  the  most  conspicuous 


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464  THE   JEWS   AND      . 

place,  beheld  a  dispute  kindled  in  the  midst  of 
the  Popedom  concerning  the  utility  or  the 
danger  of  tolerating  and  propagating,  by 
means  of  the  press,  rabbinical  works,  espe- 
cially the  Talmud.  A  violent  discussion  on 
this  question,  which  was  carried  on  for  years, 
had  been  first  started  by  John  Pfefferkom,  a 
converted  Jew  of  Cologne.  All  the  efforts  of 
this  man,  who,  with  many  faults,  was  certainly 
not  wanting  in  merit,  were  early  directed  to 
the  conversion  of  his  brethren  according  to  the 
flesh.  The  means  he  first  made  use  of  were 
highly  laudable  ;  for  he  treated  them  with 
gentleness^  and  even  defended  his  former  co- 
religionists against  the  calumny  of  their 
enemies. 

His  zeal  afterwards  was  less  well  advised, 
when  he  began  to  forbid  and  condemn  the 
reading  of  any  Hebrew  book  except  the  Old 
Testament.  With  the  aid  of  the  Dominican 
monks,  he  prevailed  on  the  Emperor  Maximi- 
lian to  adopt  his  views,  and  in  1509  an  edict 
was  published,  which  enjoined  that  all  writings 
emanating  from  the  Jews  against  the  Christian 
religion  should  be  suppressed  and  condemned  to 
the  flames ;  this  edict  was  soon  succeeded  by 
another,  in  1510,  enjoining  the  destruction  of 
every  Hebrew  book,  vnth  the  sole  exception  of 


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THE   REFOBMAXiOX.  465 

the  Old  Testament  The  execution  of  this 
edict  was,  however,  suspended  until  the  opinion 
of  the  Electoral  Archbishop  of  Mayence  had 
been  obtained.  By  favour  of  this  delay,  Pro- 
fessor Reuchiin  (Capnio)  was  enabled  to  pub- 
lish a  voluminous  treatise^  in  which  he  divided 
the  Jewish  works  into  seven  different  classes, 
and  afterwards  proved  which  of  these  classes 
might  be  considered  dangerous  or  injurious  to 
the  Christian  religion.  Among  the  books 
which  he  thinks  in  part  harmless,  and  in  part 
useful,  and  even  valuable  to  theology,  and 
which  he  would  in  consequence  preserve,  were 
not  only  the  commentators,  but  the  Talmud 
and  the  Zohar.  The  contest  soon  grew  warm 
between  the  adversaries  of  the  books  and  their 
defenders ;  the  former  consisting  of  the  Domi- 
nicans and  their  partisans,  the  latter  of  all 
moderate  and  enlightened  theologians.  Under 
the  Pontificate  of  Leo  X.,  the  well-known 
friend  and  protector  of  science  and  literature, 
a  book  of  Reuchlin's,  which  had  been  con- 
demned to  the  flames  by  the  adverse  party  at 
Cologne,  in  1614,  was  shortly  absolved  from 
all  imputation  of  heresy.  Soon,  however,  (by 
fevour,  apparently,  of  the  movement  which  had 
taken  place  in  the  Church  since  1517,)  an  end 
was  put  to  the  whole  dispute,  when  the  famous 
X  3 


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466  THE   JEW^   At^i 

knight,  Franfc  voh  Sickingen,  had  declared 
himself  on  this  question  also,  thfe  decided  anta- 
gonist of  the  Inquisitorial  party. 

Thus,  in  the  very  bosom  of  the  Romish 
Church,  the  cause  of  those  who  defended  the 
Talmud  for  learning's  sake  had  triumphed; 
while,  iti  the  Protestant  Churches,  the  study 
of  Hebrew  progressed  from  the  beginning,  by 
the  help  of  Jewish  teachers  and  writing:s.  The 
two  Buxtorfs,  father  and  son,  are  at  the  head 
of  a  long  series  of  learned  men  of  evangelical 
sentiments  and  of  the  reformed  religion,  who 
derived  their  knowledge  of  oriental  languages, 
and  of  the  original  text  of  the  Old  Testament, 
not  from  printed  books  or  rabbinical  manu- 
scripts only,  but  from  the  oral  teaching  of 
Jewish  masters.     Even  in  our  day,  after  the 
important  discoveries  which  have  been  made, 
and  the  new  directibh  which   the   study  of 
Hebrew  has  taken  during  the  last  century, 
learned  men  recognise  the  services  which  the 
rabbinical  and  l*almudic   writings  not  only 
have  rendered,  but  may  stiU  render  to  science. 
A  remarkable  memorial  of  the  intimate  access 
thus  obtained  to  the  fountain-head  (no  longer 
through  the  intervention  of  the  Popedom  and 
it»  Vulgate,  but  by  means  of  the  ancient  syna- 
gogue^) hats  remained  to  us  in  the  decisive  te^ 


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THE  BEFORMATION.  467 

jection  of  the  Apocryphal  Books  from  that  canon 
of  Scripture  which  is  received  by  the  Reformed 
Church  as  of  Divine  Inspiration.  The  influ«- 
ence  of  the  rabbinical  writings  was  not  of 
sufficient  weight  to  connterbalance  the  ancient, 
and  so-called,  spiritual  interpretation  of  the 
Jewish  prophecies,  which  had  been  received 
from  time  immemorial  by  the  Church  of  Rome 
and  the  great  majority  of  the  fathers.  It  was 
not  till  long  after  that  a  time  came  for  believers 
among  the  nations  to  acknowledge,  that  an 
interpretation  which  admits  of  a  real  and 
litersd  accomplishment  of  all  foretold  judg- 
ments and  miseries  upon  Israel,  and  bestows 
every  promise  of  blessing,  by  means  of  an  exe* 
getico-allegorical  operation,  exclusively  upon 
Gentile  Christians,  cannot  escape  at  least  the 
reproach  of  partiality;  while  it  is  in  direct 
opposition  to  the  principle  on  which  our  Lord 
himself  and  his  apostles  have  applied  or  ex* 
plained  the  ancient  prophecies  of  Israel. 

On  the  whole,  indeed,  the  Reformation, 
whether  in  its  early  days  or  in  later  times, 
with  all  its  great  teachers  and  numerous 
adherents,  effected  little  ot  no  change  in  the 
disposition  of  Christians  towards  the  once 
chosen  people,  now  so  sadly  decayed  and 
scattered  over  the   earth,   because  of  their 


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468  THE   JEWS   AND 

heinous  sin.  Luther  appeared  well  disposed 
towards  them  in  the  beginning  of  his  career  as 
a  reformer.  In  a  treatise  especially,  which  he 
wrote  in  consequence  of  some  accusations  of 
heresy  concerning  the  virginity  of  Mary,  "  to 
prove  that  Jesus  Christ  was  of  Israelitish  birth" 
— he  spoke  of  the  Jews  in  a  manner  which 
seemed  likely  to  overthrow  popular  prejudices 
against  the  nation  itself,  and  cause  men  to  set 
some  value  on  the  imperishable  privileges  of 
their  descent.  Afterwards  he  spoke  very 
differently  of  the  Jews,  either  from  indignation 
at  some  theologians  of  Wittenberg,  whom  he 
looked  upon  as  infected  with  the  leaven  of 
rabbinism,  or  from  disappointment  because 
the  Beformation,  by  which  he  had  promised 
himself  a  favourable  influence  over  the  minds 
of  the  Jews  and  their  conversion  to  the  Gos- 
pel, found  no  more  favour  or  acceptance  than 
Komanism  with  this  entirely  singular  nation. 
At  least,  his  tract,  published  in  1543,  on  "  The 
Jews  and  their  Lies,''  shows  no  moderate 
degree  of  bitterness,  and  his  manner  of  dealing 
with  them  was  quite  in  accordance  with  the 
tone  of  that  book.  We  may  say,  on  this  point, 
that  the  Christian  in  Luther  is  lost  sight  of  in 
the  German,  always  the  adversary  of  the  Jew. 
The  feelings  of  Calvin  were,  perhaps,  less 


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THE  BEFORMATION.  469 

vehement,  but  still  far  from  friendly  or  con- 
siderate towards  the  Jews,  with  whom,  how- 
ever, he  came  little  in  contact  at  Geneva. 
With  more  of  the  Roman  and  the  philosopher 
than  of  the  orientalist  or  the  poet  in  his  com- 
position, this  great  French  Reformer  failed  in 
taking  so  complete  a  view  of  prophecy,  as  to 
derive  from  it  a  knowledge  of  Israel's  future 
position.  Neither  their  future  prospects,  nor 
the  descent  of  the  Saviour  from  the  midst  of 
this  singular  people,  ever  induced  him  to  for- 
get for  a  moment  their  protracted  hardness  of 
heart,  in  spite  of  the  clear,  and  often-repeated 
declarations  of  Scripture,  certifying  their  con- 
version and  national  restoration.  On  the  other 
hand,  we  cannot  deny  that  the  light  of  the 
Gospel,  which  the  Reformation  had  again  set 
on  the  candlestick,  had  no  more  influence  over 
the  body  of  the  Jews,  than  when  it  was  in 
great  part  hid  under  the  bushel  of  Popery, — 
at  all  times  some  few  individuals  have  embraced 
it "  according  to  the  election  of  grace." 

Among  those  men  who  laboured  with  zeal 
and  fidelity  in  the  cause  of  the  Reformation 
during  the  sixteenth  century,  we  may  men- 
tion, as  a  rare  exception,  however,  a  Jew  of 
Ferrara,  named  Emanuel  Tremellius.  Having 
come  into  Germany  from  Italy  in  company 


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4^0  THE  JE>f  8   AND 

with  Peter  Mtotyr,  by  whom  he  had  been 
brought  to  the  knowledge  of  the  Gospel,  he 
there  became  a  zealous  laboilrer  in  the  vine- 
yard of  the  Reformation,  and,  together  with 
Franciscus  Junius,  theJ  celebrated  Dutch  Re- 
former, afterwards  Professor  of  Theology  at 
Leyden,  made  a  'Latin  version  of  the  Old 
Testament  from  the  original  Hebrew-  Fran- 
ciscus Junius  (du  Jon)  himself  at  all  times 
came  forward  as  the  warm  friend  of  the  people 
of  Israel,  and  proved  himself  to  be  so  most 
effectually  by  the  wise  and  affectionate  manner 
in  which  he  set  forth  the  duty  owing  by 
Christians  to  this  nation  in  their  present  state 
of  decay.  In  the  family  of  Junius,  as  well  as 
that  of  Vossius,  with  which  it  was  connected, 
benevolent  feelings  towards  the  Jews,  and  a 
warm  interest  in  their  welfare,  seem  to  have 
been  hereditary.  Isaac  Vossius,  for  example, 
the  Professor  at  Amsterdam^  who  afterwards 
settled  in  England,  and  died  there  at  a  great 
age,  wrote  a  striking  "  Address  to  the  Jews  " 
in  this  spirit. 

Generally  speaking,  the  Arminians  of  Hol- 
land and  their  allies  showed  most  favour  to 
the  Jewish  refugees  in  that  country  and  their 
learned  men.  We  have  already  spoken  of 
Hugo  Grotius,  whose  esteem  for  the  Rabbins 


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THE   REFORMATION.  471 

and  their  interpretations  was  certainly  carried 
too  far.  Rather  later,  in  the  course  of  the 
seventeenth  century,  Calvinistic  clergy  and 
teachers  were  not  wanting  in  Hblland,  who, 
by  their  writings  and  their  efforts  for  the 
spread  of  the  Gospel  among  the  Jews,  showed 
a  far  more  friendly  spirit  towards  that  nation 
than  their  predecessors  had  done.  Among 
these,  Hendrik  Groenwegen  atid  the  Pro- 
fessors Witsius  and  Hombeck  were  distin- 
guished ;  the  former  of  these  was  well  known 
in  England,  both  personally  and  by  his  writ- 
ings; the  latter  was  the  author  of  an  ample 
work  on  the  conversion  of  the  Jews.  About 
the  same  period,  in  the  Netherlands,  an  ex*- 
pectation  began  to  arise  of  the  future  national 
conversion  of  Israel,  in  connexion  with  a  mil- 
lennium of  glory  for  the  Church  of  Christ 
upon  earth.  Among  the  defenders  of  this 
doctrine,  we  find  the  celebrated  theologian, 
Willem  ton  Brakel,  whose  works,  containing 
an  ample  summary  of  dogmatic  and  practical 
theology,  were  known  throughout  Holland,  and 
brought  into  fevour  with  a  great  number  of 
the  most  pious  and  orthodox  members  of  the 
Church  a  mode  of  interpreting  prophecy, 
which  the  members  of  the  Synod  of  Dordrecht 
had  before  disowned.     Before  the  close  of  the 


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472  POSITION   OF  THE   JEWS 

seventeenth  century,  however,  many  men  whose 
names  are  well  known  in  Great  Britain  espe- 
cially, had  arrived  at  conclusions  almost  iden- 
tical with  those  which  have  heen  brought  for- 
ward during  the  last  thirty  or  forty  years, 
concerning  the  future  prosperity  of  Israel,  and 
the  universal  reign  of  Jesus  Christ  their  King. 
Among  these,  it  may  suffice  to  mention  Jurieu, 
the  celebrated  opponent  of  Bayle,  who  had 
sought  refuge  in  Holland  subsequently  to  the 
revocation  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes,  and  especi- 
ally John  de  Labadie,  whose  book  entitled, 
the  "  Herald  of  the  King  Jesus,"  together  with 
his  secession  from  the  national  Church,  brought 
upon  him  great  enmity  from  those  ministers 
and  professors  who  were  considered  orthodox. 
Thus,  the  Reformation,  by  the  guidance  of  the 
Lord  of  the  Church,  had  beheld  fresh  light 
thrown  on  the  Old  Testament^  and  the  word 
of  prophecy  in  particular,  not  shining  at  once 
fully,  but  rising  gradually  and  increasing  by 
degrees.  In  the  position  of  the  Jews  them- 
selves, a  remarkable  change  was  at  the  same 
time  in  progress.  Not  that  the  hatred  and 
prejudices  of  Christian  people,  or  rather  of  the 
world  in  general,  had  given  place  to  more 
benevolent  and  generous  sentiments,  or  that 
any  mutual  drawing  together  had  taken  place 


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FROM  1617  TO  1689.  473 

between  Jew  and  Christian.  Only  the  ftiry 
of  persecution  had  slackened  and  gradually 
disappeared,  together  with  that  ferocity  which 
peculiarly  characterized  the  Middle  Ages.  The 
Jews  were  no  longer  massacred,  tortured, 
pillaged,  or  arbitrarily  expelled,  as  in  the  time 
of  the  Crusades,  at  least  such  events  were  of 
very  rare  occurrence.  In  Spain,  it  is  true,  and 
in  her  colonies,  the  sword  of  Damocles  was 
suspended  over  the  head  of  the  hidden  ad* 
herents  of  the  synagogue  and  their  descendants, 
— but  we  have  already  noticed  that  the  zeal, 
or,  at  least,  the  power  of  the  Inquisition,  had 
by  degrees  slackened.  In  other  parts  of 
Europe,  after  the  great  separation  effected  by 
the  Beformation,  the  fury  of  persecution 
directed  against  heretics  in  the  bosom  of 
Christianity  itself,  was  by  this  means  turned 
aside  from  the  unbelieving  Israelite.  Itet^  the 
anathema  of  public  contempt,  humiliation,  and 
exclusion  from  every  public  or  private  con- 
nexion, still  lay  heavily  upon  them.  Thus,  the 
period  of  270  years,  which  intervened  between 
the  Reformation  and  the  Revolution,  brought 
no  amelioration  in  the  civil  and  political  rights 
of  the  Jews,  The  history  of  the  people  of 
Israel  in  the  world  continued  during  the  whole 
of  that  period  to  exhibit  the  same  monotonous 


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474  POSITION   O^  THE  JEWS,  ETC. 

character  of  naiserjr,  wliidi,  with  the  exception 
of  some  few  years,  or  a  few  fatoured  spots,  Had 
marked  their  fate  for  ntiany  Centuries.  This 
periodj  which  we  will  now  survey  rapidly, 
offers  few  peculiarities  suficientiy  striking  to 
require  a  place  in  this  sketch.  Many  of  them 
have  been  detailed  in  the  two  preceding  books, 
by  a  kind  of  anticipation  which  the  connexion 
of  the  subjects  and  facts  we  have  had  to  relate 
riendered  necessary.  There  are  but  a  few  of  the 
more  prominent  details,  relating  either  to  the 
sufferings  of  the  exiled  people  in  their  social 
position,  or  their  labours  in  the  field  of  litenu 
ture  or  science,  left  to  us.  For,  with  the 
commencement  of  the  revolutionary  period  in 
1789,  a  fresh  horizon  is  discovered,  as  much 
for  the  whole  known  and  civilized  world  in 
general,  as  for  the  scattered  remnant  of  Israel 
and  Judah. 

The  position  of  the  Jews  in  the  East  under 
the  Turkish  Empire,  as  we  have  already  re- 
marked, was  generally  favourable,  and  at 
times  prosperous,  especially  that  of  the  Spanish 
Jews.  After  what  we  have  already  told  con- 
cerning that  part  of  the  Jewish  history,  there 
remains  but  little  to  relate.  One  man  alone 
arose  amid  the  Jewish  population  in  the  East, 
whose  name  has  acquired  a  pamM  celebrity 


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SABBATHAI   SEYl,   ETC.  4^5 

in  consequence  of  the  angular  feet  that  his 
teaching  and  the  sect  he  founded  long  con- 
tinued to  exist  ailet  the  loss  of  his  life  and 
reputation.  Though  unmasked  as  a  false 
Messiah,  he  long  possessed  great  influence 
ove^  posterity  as  the  most  remarkable  man  of 
his  age.  The  number  of  impostors  who  harlB 
arisen  during  the  nineteen  centuries  of  Israel's 
dispersion  are  reckoned  at  sixty-four.  Among 
them,  perhaps  no  one  was  more  deserving  of 
contempt  than  Sabbathai  Sevi,  df  Smyrna,  yet 
none  excited  more  remark  by  the  great  sensa- 
tion which  his  appearance  continued  for  some 
years  to  create,  by  the  surprising  effects  of  this 
illusion  during  his  lifetime,  and  eren  after  his 
death;  by  the  ideas  especially,  long  entirely 
unheard  of  among  the  Jews,  concerning  the 
nature  and  office  of  Messiah,  to  which  the 
appearance  of  this  man  gave  rise  among  that 
nation  and  their  scribes  in  different  parts  of 
the  world. 

Sabbathai  Sevi,  the  yoiingest  son  of  a  poul- 
terer, at  Smyrna,  was  born  in  that  city  in  the 
year  1625^  In  his  childhood  he  won  the 
admiration  of  the  synagogue,  by  his  great 
cleverness,  and  the  zeal  with  which  he  pursued 
His  studies.  At  fifteen  years  of  age  he  no 
longer  needed  instruction  in  the  study  of  the 


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476  8ABBATHAI   SEYI, 

Talmud.  In  his  eighteenth  year  he  com- 
menced his  career  of  Eabbi,  with  the  title  of 
Chacham.  A  multitude  of  disciples  crowded 
to  hear  his  instructions  in  the  Cabbala;  a 
study  which  may  always  be  looked  upon  as 
the  link  between  Jewish  theology,  philosophy, 
and  even  Christianity.  With  his  public 
teaching  he  united  in  private  the  severest 
practices  of  bodily  asceticism,  after  the  Jewish 
custom  of  constant  fasting  and  bathing.  At 
twenty  years  of  age  he  married,  but  in  form 
only,  continuing  to  lead  a  single  life;  this 
soon  gave  occasion  to  a  divorce,  which  led  to 
another  similar  marriage.  His  life  became 
more  and  more  that  of  a  penitent;  fasts  six 
times  in  the  week,  midnight  immersions  in 
the  sea,  and  every  means  of  macerating  the 
body  in  use  among  the  Jews  were  employed 
by  him.  His  personal  beauty  (it  is  said)  only 
continued  to  increase,  and  his  presence  im- 
parted a  perfume  to  the  surrounding  atmo- 
sphere. When  questioned  on  these  different 
points,  he  related  in  confidence  that  the  patri- 
archs had  appeared  to  him  by  night.  In  his 
twenty.fourth  year  (a.d.  1648)  he  declared 
himself  publicly,  "Messiah  of  the  house  of 
David,"  who  should  soon  deliver  Israel  from 
the  dominion  of  Christians  and  Mussulmans. 


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THE   FALSE   MESSIAH.  477 

As  a  token  of  this  high  dignity,  he  ventured 
to  pronounce  the  name  of  Jehovah,  which  we 
know  to  he  considered  hy  the  Jews  as  the 
crime  of  treason  against  the  Most  High. 
When  questioned  and  censured  on  this  account 
by  the  Eabbins,  he  replied  that  this  power 
belonged  to  him  as  the  Messiah.  Soon  after, 
having  been  condemned  and  outlawed  by  the 
synagogue,  he  fled  to  Salonichi.  There,  being 
received  with  great  honour,  he  continued  to 
teach  in  public  and  make  disciples.  A  further 
decree  of  the  Eabbins  soon  followed,  which 
compelled  him  to  flee  to  Athens,  and  then  to 
take  refuge  successively  in  the  Morea,  at 
Alexandria,  Cairo,  and  Jerusalem,  in  which 
city  he  contrived,  without  much  difficulty,  to 
take  up  his  abode.  At  that  time  a  certain 
Nathan  Benjamin,  from  whom  he  had  received 
hospitality  during  a  stay  at  Gaza,  ranged  him- 
self on  his  side,  declaring  himself  to  be  the 
prophet  and  forerunner  of  Sabbathai.  He  was 
not  long  in  collecting  by  his  fanaticism  a 
numerous  party.  He  wrote  addresses  to  all 
the  Rabbins  in  the  Holy  Land,  announcing 
the  approach  of  Messiah's  kingdom,  and  de- 
creeing, in  consequence,  the  abrogation  of  the 
Fasts  pf  Thammuz  ♦  and  of  the  ninth  of  Ab, 
♦  Zech.  viii.  19. 


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478  BABBATHAI  8ETI, 

because  the  speedy  restoration  of  Jemsalem 
would  render  needless  all  sorrow  on  account 
of  her  misfortunes  and  her  downfall,  The 
^essiah  (wrote  he)  ^\  is  at  hand,  and  ere  long 
will  assume  the  turban  and  crown  of  the 
Sultan,  as  the  Cabbala  has  declared.  Then, 
for  some  time  he  will  disappear,  to  seek,  in 
company  with  Moses,  the  ten  tribes  hidden 
beyond  the  river  Sabbation,  and  to  bring  them 
back.  Then,  riding  on  a  lion,  descended  from 
heaven,  whose  tongue  is  like  a  seveuj-headed 
serpent,  he  will  enter  Jerusalem  in  triumph, 
after  having  destroyed  a  multitude  of  his 
enemies  by  the  breath  of  his  mouth.  Then 
will  take  place  the  descent  of  the  Jerusalem 
from  on  high,  adorned  with  gold  and  precious 
stones,  in  which  Messiah  hinQiself  wiU  offer 
sacrifices ;  then  shall  happen  the  resurrection 
of  the  dead,  with  many  other  events  which 
cannot  now  be  revealed," 

Sabbathai,  in  the  meanwhile,  continued 
quietly  teaching  the  Cabbala  at  Jerusalem, 
imtil,  in  the  fourteenth  year  of  his  residence 
in  that  city,  he  suddenly  declared  that  he  had 
a  call  from  heaven  to  go  into  Egypt  and  take 
a  wife.  He  soon  returned  with  his  bride,  the 
daughter  of  a  Polish  Eabbi,  who  had  been 
brought  up  among  Christians.     This  third 


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T^£  PAItfSE  ,)CE6$Lm.  479 

marriage,  like  the  two  preceding,  was  a  mere 
matter  of  form,  A  short  time  ^iter  (1665)  he 
undertook  to  assemble  the  Jews  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood, aQd  dedica|;e  his  ireign  by  some 
public  act;  but  when  the  Babbins  at  Jerusar 
lem  also  had  pronounced  him  to  be  worthy  of 
death,  and  this  sentence  had  been  confirmed 
by  an  assembly  at .  Constantinople,  he  took 
flight,  and  returned  to  JSmyma.  There  aU 
seemed  at  first  to  be  in  his  favour;  he  was 
received  by  his  coreligionists  with  royaj 
honours,  escorted  by  hundreds  of  the  Jews 
whenever  he  appeared  in  public,  which  he  did 
every  evening  until  midnight,  amid  songs  of 
rejoicing,  and  with  banners  displayed.  Stirred 
up  by  the  false  Elias  (Babbi  Nathan^  a  carica^ 
ture  of  John  the  Baptist),  the  numbers  gra- 
dually increased  of  those  who  came  from  all 
parts  to  visit  him,  and  applaud  his  discourses, 
which  were  delivered  in  pubUc — according  to 
some,  in  Spanish,  In  all  the  magnificence  of 
Eastern  costume,  and  surrounded  with  kingly 
state,  he  gave  audience  to  these  successive 
visitors,  while  in  the  synagogues  blessings 
were  invoked  on  his  name,  together  with  that 
of  the  Sultan  in  the  prayers  for  the  reigning 
powers.  Many  strange  circumstances  followed. 
The  Cabbalistic  book  of  Zohar  became  the 


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480  SABBATHAI   8EYI, 

order  of  the  day;  young  men  and  young 
women,  in  a  kind  of  ecstasy,  prophesied  with 
every  kind  of  bodily  contortion  and  convulsion. 
Even  to  the  far-west  the  feme  of  and  belief  in 
the  pretended  Messiah  spread  irom  day  to  day. 
In  Holland  a  schism  was  on  the  point  of 
breaking  out  in  the  midst  of  the  Portuguese 
synagogue.  A  manuscript  chronicle  of  that 
epoch,  belonging  to  the  community,  states, 
that  a  letter  had  been  addressed  irom  them  to 
Sabbathai  Sevi,  full  of  the  highest  and  most 
decided  expectations,  applying  to  him  names 
and  titles  which  could  be  addressed  to  the 
Most  High  alone. 

It  is  a  striking  feature  in  the  whole  history 
of  the  false  Messiah  of  Smyrna,  that  we  find 
much  either  of  reminiscence  or  imitation,  at 
all  events  of  correspondence  with  the  Grospd, 
with  respect  to  the  prophecies  and  attributes 
of  Messiah  and  his  kingdom,  mingled  with  the 
Ridiculous  absurdities  by  which  this  miserable 
deception  was  surrounded  and  supported. 
Thus,  without  knowing  or  even  suspecting  it, 
the  J^ws  themselves  fulfilled  in  part  the  pro- 
phecy spoken  by  their  true  King  and  Redeemer 
(John  V.  43) :  "  I  am  come  in  my  Father's 
name,  and  ye  receive  me  not ;  if  another  come 
in  his  own  name,  him  will  ye  receive." 


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T^E   FALSE  MESSIAH.  481 

Already,  in  the  year  1666,  the  affiiirs  of  the 
fake  Messiah  were  heginning  to  take  a'  differ- 
ent turn,  when  his  arrival  and  vociferous 
welcome  from  the  Jews  at  Constantinople 
excited  some  uneasiness  in  the  Divan.  The 
Grand  Vizir,  hy  authority  of  the  Sultan,  Ma- 
homet IV.,  caused  the  impostor  to  he  arrested ; 
even  then  he  succeeded  in  heing  treated  as  a 
prisoner  of  state.  He  obtained  peimission  to 
receive  visits,  and  kept  up  all  the  dignity  of  an 
eastern  prince,  while  he  continued,  at  the  same 
time,  in  the  unceasing  practice  of  the  law  as  a 
severe  Talmudist  and  Cabbalist.  At  the  same 
time,  he  declared  that  the  day  of  deliverance 
was  at  hand,  and  fixed  as  its  furthest  period 
the  following  summer;  by  this  means  he 
greatly  sustained  the  courage  of  his  followers, 
who,  attributing  the  imprisonment  of  their 
Messiah  to  their  own  sins,  did  penance ;  while 
he,  on  the  contrary,  .gave  orders  on  aU  sides  to 
change  the  fast-days  into  days  of  feasting. 
While  matters  were  in  this  state,  a  learned 
Cabbalist,  named  Eabbi  Nehemiah,  arrived 
from  Poland.  An  intercourse  of  three  days 
with  the  pretended  Messiah  enabled  this  Rabbi 
to  see  through  and  completely  detect  the  absurd 
pretences  of  Sabbathai.  From  that  time  he 
openly  protested  against  them,  and  sought  to 


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482  8ABBATHAI  6ETI) 

turn  away  the  people  from  the  deceiver.  He 
succeeded,  also  (but  in  a  less  praiseworthy 
manner,)  in  obtaining  an  audience  with  the 
Sultan,  to  represent  the  dangers  accruing  to 
his  government  from  such  fanaticism  among 
the  Jews.  The  Sultan  in  consequence  com- 
manded Sabbathai  to  present  himself  at 
Adrianople.  He  went  there,  accompanied  by 
a  considerable  number  of  his  followers ;  but 
when  brought  into  presence  of  the  Sultan, 
he  was  disconcerted,  lost  countenance,  and 
declared  himself  willing  to  embrace  Ma* 
hometanism  to  save  his  life. 

This  incident,  which  seemed  fitted  to  de- 
stroy the  cause  of  the  false  Messiah,  neither 
deprived  the  fanatical  impostor  of  his  im- 
pudence, nor  his  blind  partisans  of  their 
reliance  upon  him.  He  declared  that  this  con- 
version to  Islamism  formed  one  of  the  marked 
characteristics  of  the  expected  Messiah.  Many 
of  his  followers  and  admirers  repeated  this 
subterfuge ;  others,  after  the  manner  of  the 
Docetee  among  Christians  and  the  Mahomedans, 
pretended  that  Sabbathai  himself  had  been 
taken  up  to  heaven,  and  that  it  was  only  a 
likeness  or  image  of  his  person  which  had 
been  seen  to  change  religion.  The  false 
prophet    Nathan,    especially    in    Damascus, 


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THE  FALSE  ME6SIAH.  483 

Aleppo,  and  Smyrna,  continued  to  support  the 
cause  of  the  impostor  against  the  condemnation 
and  contradictions  of  the  Rahbins  of  Constanti« 
nople.  The  eyes  of  many  were  nevertheless 
at  length  opeaed,  and  soon  he  lost  all  his 
influence  and  the  greater  number  of  his 
adherents.  He  ventiired  to  reappear  ia  the 
synagogue  to  introduce  his  liturgy,  under 
pretext  to  the  Sultan  that  he  sought  thus  to 
win  the  Jews  to  his  new  religion.  But  the 
Vizir  was  not  deceived;  he  arrested  him 
again,  and  banished  him  to  Bosnia.  In  1677, 
ten  years  after  he  had  embraced  Mahometan^* 
ism,  he  died  at  Belgrade,  some  say  of  a  natural 
death, — others,  that  he  was  secretly  beheaded 
in  prison. 

Such  was  the  end  of  this  fanatic,  the  Bar 
Chochab,  or  Mahomet,  as  it  were,  of  his  day, 
but  without  a  single  spark  of  the  courage  or 
character  displayed  by  them ;  while  even  his 
most  determined  enemies  could  not  deny  that 
he  possessed  superior  talents.  The  sensation 
caused  by  his  appearance  and  doctrines  (as  we 
have  already  said)  continued  to  be  felt  long 
after  his  death.  His  system  of  cabbalistic 
teaching  was  introduced  in  different  forms 
into  the  synagogues  of  Turkey,  Asia  Minor, 
and  the  states  of  Barbary,  and  afterwards  into 
Y  2 


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484  THE    JEWS   IX    ITALY. 

those  of  Europe  also.  Under  the  denomination 
of  '^  Sabbathaism/'  a  more  or  less  mysterious 
doctrine  has  been  perpetuated  in  a  sect,  headed 
successively  by  different  chie&,  and  variously 
named  at  different  times.  We  hear  of  this 
sect  especially  full  a  century  after  the  death  of 
Sabbathai,  in  Germany,  and  particularly  in 
Austria  and  Poland,  under  the  command  or 
the  influence  of  a  certain  Jacob  Frank,  who 
endeavoured  to  unite  cabbalistic  Judaism  with 
Christianity,  in  the  same  manner  as  Sabbathai 
and  his  followers  had  attempted  to  mingle  it 
with  Mahometanism. 

What  the  Mahomedan  territories,  the  states 
of  Barbary  and  Turkey  in  particular,  were 
able  to  offer  to  the  banished  Israelites  in  the 
East,  they  found  also  in  the  West,  in  the 
Roman  Catholic  territory  of  Italy. 

The  Spanish  and  Portuguese  Jews  not  only 
brought  with  them,  but  found  the  synagogues 
of  those  countries  already  possessed  of  a  large 
proportion  of  learning,  and  many  sociaL  pri- 
vileges. The  dispersion  of  the  Sephardim 
and  their  establishment  in  the  country,  the 
consequent  increase  in  the  number  and  activity 
of  the  Italian  presses,  produced  effects  not  only 
on  that  body  of  the  Jewish  people,  but  also  on 
the  older  Italian  Jews,  and  even  the  Grerman 


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THE   JEWB    IN   ITALY.  485 

part  of  the  Jewish  population  which  was 
mingled  with  it,  especially  towards  the  north. 
No  country,  no  period,  since  the  hright  days 
of  Judeo-Spanish  learning  in  the  Middle  Ages, 
had  heen  so  fertile  in  men  of  talents  and 
literature  among  the  Jews  as  Italy  just  after 
the  close  of  the  Middle  Ages.  It  seemed  as  if 
the  days  of  Ahen  Ezra  and  Maimonides  were 
ahout  to  he  revived ;  at  least,  many  are  the 
names  which  the  history  of  modem  Jewish 
literature  in  Italy  has  recorded  with  distinction 
during  the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries. 
At  their  head  may  he  placed  Elias  Levita, 
sumamed  Bachur  (from  the  title  of  his  hook 
on  Hehrew  Grammar),  and  Eahhi  Ahraham 
Ben  Meir  de  Balmes, — the  one  horn  at  Lecci, 
in  the  heginning  of  the  sixteenth  century,  the 
other  at  Aisch,  near  Nuremburgh,  in  the  latter 
part  of  the  fifteenth.  Both  enjoyed  the  esteem 
of  their  Christian  cotempotaries,  and  were 
employed  in  useful  labours^  De  Balmes  prac- 
tised as  a  physician  at  Padua,  and  gave  public 
lectures,  both  on  medicine  and  philosophy,  in 
which  he  had  Christians  as  well  as  Jews  for 
his  auditors.  He  had  been  brought  up  in 
the  Spanish  school  as  a  linguist  and  a  man  of 
letters,  and  he  translated  many  valuable  Arabic  ^ 
works  into  Latin.    Elias  Levita  also  taught  at 


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486  THE  JEWS  IN   ITALY* 

Padua,  but  the  breaking  out  of  the  war  in 
1509  stript  him  of  all  his  possessions,  and 
compelled  him  to  leave  the  city ;  he  removed  to 
Rome,  where  he  found  favour  with  the  Cardinal 
Aegidius,  and  his  affairs  became  more  pros- 
perous* In  1527,  war  again  broke  in  upon 
his  studies,  and  obliged  him  to  leave  Rome, 
which  was  taken  and  pillaged  by  the  Generals 
of  Charles  V.  He  returned  to  Padua,  from 
whence  he  was  invited  into  Germany  by  the 
celebrated  Paul  Fagius,  and  for  some  time 
superintended  a  Hebrew  press.  The  climate, 
however,  so  unfavourably  affected  his  health, 
that,  being  advanced  in  years,  he  decided  on 
returning  to  Italy,  where  he  died,  in  1642.  His 
family  long  continued  at  Rome,  where  they 
bore  the  name  of  Tedesco,  and  were  reckoned 
among  the  most  honourable  in  the  synagogue, 
on  a  par  with  the  AscareUi,  the  Pessata,  Da 
Rossi,  Corcassa,  &c. 

In  the  same  city  o^  Padua,  another  G^man 
Rabbi  rose  to  distinction  some  time  afterwards. 
Rabbi  Meir  Ben  Isaac  Katzenellenhogen  kept 
up  an  active  correspondence  with  the  syna^ 
gogues,  both  of  the  east  and  west ;  while  his 
opinions  on  matters  of  theology  were  sought  for, 
and  repeated  as  far  as  Poland.  He  died  in  1565. 
One  of  his  cotemporaries.  Rabbi  Obadiah  Ben 


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THE  JEWS   IN   ITALT.  487 

Jacob  Sefomo,  wrote  commentaries  on  the 
Pentateuch,  the  Psalms,  the  Books  of  Job, 
Canticles,  and  Ecdesiastes.  He  dedicated  this 
last  commentary,  and  also  a  Latin  treatise  on 
metaphysics,  to  King  John  II.  of  France.  He 
was  also  a  great  friend  of  Beuchlin.  In  the 
second  part  of  the  sixteenth  century,  Babbi 
David  Ben  Isaac  de  Pomis,  bom  of  a  family 
who  traced  their  residence  at  Borne  to  the 
time  of  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem,  distin- 
guished himself  as  a  physician,  and  also  as  the 
author  of  several  grammatical  and  exegetical 
works.  He  dedicated  his  lexicon  to  Pope  Six* 
tus  v.,  who  highly  esteemed  him.  There,  also, 
lived  Babbi  Gedaliah,  of  the  celebrated  family 
of  the  Yachias,  from  Portugal,  who  died  in  the 
year  1590,  at  the  age  of  ninety,  having  estab- 
lished his  character  among  the  learned 
men  of  Israel,  by  more  than  twenty  volu- 
minous works  upon  the  various  subjects  of 
exegesis,  theology,  and  philosophy*  One  of 
these,  his  well-known  "  Chain  of  Tradition," 
is  a  monument,  both  of  the  diligence  and  of 
the  great  deficiencies  to  be  observed  in  the 
study  of  history  among  the  modem  Jews*  At 
Ferrara,  a  cotemporary,  Babbi  Abraham  Fari- 
sol,  of  Avignon,  wrote  his  Cosmography,  which 
is  valued  for  its  many  interesting  observations. 


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488  THE  JEWS   IN   ITALY. 

Rabbi  Azaria  de  Rossi  (in  Hebrew,  Adomim), 
of  Mantua,  wrote  a  historico-critical  work, 
called  "Meor  Enaim,"  "The  Light  of  the 
Eyes ; ''  and  David  Ascoli  published  in  Latin 
a  "  Remonstrance  against  the  Decree  of  Pope 
Paul  IV.,*'  reiterating  the  ordinance  that  the 
Jews  should  wear  a  distinctive  mark  on  their 
raiment,  which  procured  for  him  some  years 
of  imprisonment  J 

Among  the  ornaments  of  the  Italian  syna^ 
gogue  in  the  seventeenth  century,  we  may 
name  Rabbi  Jehuda  Ariel,  better  known  by 
the  name  of  Leo  of  Modena,  head  of  the  syna^ 
gogue  at  Venice,  and  author  of  many  works 
both  in  Italian  and  Hebrew,  on  literature, 
antiquities,  and  theology ;  Joseph  Conzio,  of 
Asti,  a  poet,  and  commentator  on  the  Book  of 
Esther ;  Deborah  Ascarelli,  of  Rome,  a  poetess 
in  her  native  Italian  tongue;  Rabbi  Simon 
Luzzato,  known  by  his  interesting  observations 
on  the  Jews  of  his  own  time,  and  also  the 
ancestor  of  many  who,  like  himself,  were  famed 
among  the  Israelites  for  their  writings ;  Rabbi 
Moses  Cohen  Porto  distinguished  himself  in 
the  same  line;  Rabbi  Salomon  Ben  Isaac  di 
Marino  was  the  author  of  a  valuable  com- 
mentary on  Isaiah;  Moses  Ben  Mordecai 
Zacuta,  of  Amsterdam,  settled  at  Venice  in 


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THE  JEWd   IN   If  ALY.  489 

1649,  and  is  known  both  as  a  cabbalistic  theo>- 
logian,  and  a  mystical  poet;  Sabbathai  Mamia, 
who  attempted  a  translation  of  the  Metamor- 
phoses of  Ovid,  with  many  others.  Among 
the  various  studies  of  the  Jews  at  that  period, 
we  must  not  omit  that  of  music.  Mention  is 
made  in  the  year  1623,  of  a  "Partitim,"  pub- 
lished by  Babbi  Salomon  Mehachachamim, 
of  Venice,  upon  the  text  of  one  of  the  Psalms 
of  Solomon.  Already,  however,  towards  the 
close  of  the  seventeenth  century,  the  lustre  of 
Jewish  literature  in  Italy  was  beginning  to 
fade,  only  to  revive  in  a  later  period,  with  a 
brightness  which  we  shall  have,  by  and  by,  to 
remark  upon. 

During  the  two  centuries  and  a-half  which 
are  now  before  us,  taking  into  consideration 
the  spirit  of  the  age,  and  the  great  variety  of 
countries,  sovereigns,  and  times, — the  Jews,  in 
their  social  and  political  position,  met  with 
more  of  favour  than  oppression.  With  very 
few  exceptions,  we  find,  in  the  Papal  States  at 
least,  no  traces  of  persecution  or  violence  pro- 
ceeding from  the  Government;  while,  in  the 
maritime  and  trading  cities  of  Italy,  the  liberty, 
privileges,  and  wealth  of  the  Jews,  (the  latter, 
unfortunately,  not  always  honourably  acquired,) 
were^  ingeneralj  considerable,  andofteneminentv 
T  3 


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490  aflE   JEWS   IN   ITALY. 

More  thtLU  once  we  find  them  employed  witili 
honour  and  success  in  diplomatic  missions,  not 
by  the  Eepublic  of  Venice  alone,  but  by  the 
Duke  of  Ferrara,  and  even  the  Emperor  of 
Germany.  Over  the  whole  of  Italy  the  Jewish 
synagogues  were  in  a  flourishing  condition; 
more  than  a  hundred  were  in  existence  at  the 
beginning  of  the  seventeenth  century.  When, 
in  course  of  time,  they  had  afterwards  dimi- 
nished both  in  number  and  splendour,  Rome 
itself,  about  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  cen- 
tury, still  contained  no  less  than  nine,  the 
Rabbins  of  which  exercised  a  degree  of  influence 
throughout  the  whole  of  Italy.  The  Jewish 
population  of  the  city  at  that  time  amounted 
to  thirteen  or  fourteen  thousand  souls. 

We  must  take  a  few  minutes  longer  to 
notice  the  position  of  the  Jews  in  the  States  of 
the  Church,  and  particularly  in  connexion  wilii 
the  Popes.  This  connexion,  though  in  gene- 
ral a  friendly  one  on  the  part  of  the  sovereigns 
of  Rome,  was  yet  exposed  to  continual  varia- 
tions, in  consequence  of  the  very  frequent 
change  of  the  temporal  and  spiritual  head  of 
the  Government.  These  variations  we  have 
already  observed  in  the  history  of  the  Middle 
Ages;  and  the  same  occurred  even  in  more 
enlightened  days,  after  the  commencement  of 


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rCHB  JEWS   IN  ItALY*  491 

the  sixteenth  century.  Thus,  for  example, 
Paul  III.  (1534—1549)  showed  them  peculiat 
&,your, — so  much  so,  that  ha  was  reproved  by 
Cardinal  Sadoletus.  This  Pope,  an  enemy  to 
persecution,  sought  to  gain  the  Jews  to  the 
Church  by  forming  an  establishment  for  the 
conversion  of  that  nation.  Paul  IV.  (1655 — 
1559),  on  the  contrary,  severe  towards  the 
Christians,  even  to  Philip  II.  of  Spain,  treated 
the  Jews  with  especial  harshness,  forbidding 
them  to  have  Christian  servants,  limiting  them 
to  one  synagogue  in  each  city,  and  imposing 
anew  the  old  vexations  of  the  ghetto,  and  the 
peculiar  mark.  Pius  lY.,  his  immediate  suo> 
cessor,  in  his  turn  lightened  their  burdens, 
and  showed  them  every  kindness.  Pius  V., 
on  the  contrary,  loaded  them  with  reproaches 
and  harsh  speeches,  driving  them  from  his 
territories,  with  the  exception  of  Rome  and 
Ancona.  The  reason  for  this  exception  must 
be  looked  for  apparently  in  the  evils  which 
had  before  accrued  to  Ancona  on  a  similar 
occasion,  when  either  open  or  concealed  per- 
secution had  compelled  the  Jews  to  transport 
elsewhere  the  seat  of  their  fortunes,  when  by 
the  active  co-operation  of  the  Turkish  Rab- 
bins a  large  proportion  of  its  commerce  had 
been  removed  to  Pessaro^ 


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492  THE  JEWS   IN   ITiLLT. 

Again,  Gregory  XIII.  (1572—1585)  took 
pains  foT  their  conversion,  but  by  an  error  of 
judgment  he  compelled  them  to  be  present  at 
a  sermon  preached  expressly  for  them  in  one 
of  the  churches;  Sixtus  V.  did  not  conceal 
that  he  granted  them  protection  solely  from 
temporal  and  political  motives.  He  gua- 
ranteed to  them  liberty  of  residence  and  of 
trade,  with  the  free  exercise  of  their  religion; 
and,  to  a  certain  extent,  equal  rights  with  his 
Christian  subjects.  Clement  VIII.  (1692 — 
1605)  again  restricted  their  liberty  of  resi- 
dence, confining  it  to  the  cities  of  Home, 
Ancona,  and  Avignon.  Among  the  Popes 
who  succeeded  him,  Innocent  XI.,  the  cele- 
brated antagonist  of  Louis  XIV.,  (1676 — 
1689,)  was  the  most  distinguished  for  his 
humanity  and  benevolence  towards  the  Jews : 
at  the  time  when  the  Morea  was  occupied  by 
the  Venetians,  it  was  owing  to  the  special 
protection  of  the  Pontiff  that  the  Jewish  pri- 
soners were  released  as  well  as  the  Christians. 
The  obligation  of  hearing  the  sermon  was, 
however,  strictly  enforced  by  this  Pope.  The 
conduct  of  succeeding  Pontiffs  towards  the 
Jews  has  never  offered  any  striking  traits 
either  of  fitvour  or  severity. 

The  history  of  the  Itidian  Peninsolai  as  it 


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THE  JEWS   IN   ITALY.  493 

regards  the  Jews,  shows  a  marked  bias  in  their 
favour  about  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  cen- 
tury, which,  however,  was  of  little  avail  in 
restoring  them  to  a  country  from  which  they 
had  been  banished  for  centuries,  and  where, 
as  in  Spain  and  Portugal,  their  descendants 
had  mingled  with  the  higher  and  lower  no- 
bility after  a  true  or  feigned  conversion  to 
Christianity,  but  where  they  had  never  been 
admitted  as  Jews.  This  country  was  the 
kingdom  of  Naples,  in  which,  however,  the 
Inquisition  had  never  been  able  to  establish 
itself.  Charles  III.  (of  the  Spanish  branch  of 
the  Bourbons)  published  in  1740  an  edict,  by 
which  permissibn  was  granted  to  the  Jews  for 
a  term  of  fifty  years  to  establish  themselves  at 
Naples,  with  liberty  of  trade  by  sea  and  by 
land,  right  of  their  own  jurisdiction,  and  a 
position  as  much  as  possible  on  a  footing  with 
the  rest  of  the  King's  subjects^  In  this  edict 
they  were  allowed  to  possess  what  books  they 
liked  in  any  language ;  to  prtu^tise  and  teach 
medicine;  to  have  their  own  burial-ground 
and  market-place ;  to  hold  Turkish  slaves  on 
the  single  condition  of  restoring  them  to 
liberty  in  Case  of  their  baptism,  on  receipt  of 
a  consideration;  to  have  Christian  servants, 
the  men  to  be  above  five-and-twenty,  and  the 


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494  THE   JEWS   IN   FBANCB 

women  above  fiye-and-tihirty,  with  every  other 
liberty  and  privilege  possible  in  those  days^ 
and  under  a  dynasty  of  Spanish  extraction. 
This  edict,  however,  was  never  put  in  execu- 
tion, owing  to  the  ill«will  of  the  Koman  Ca- 
tholic poptdation  stirred  up  by  the  Jesuit, 
P^pe,  also  high  in  esteem  at  Court,  though 
neither  his  opposition  nor  his  threats  could 
deter  the  King  from  carrying  out  his  inten- 
tions. The  people  conspired  on  all  sides  to 
make  any  settlement  of  the  Jews  impossible, 
and  it  appears  there  were  even  some  thoughts 
of  a  general  massacre.  Whatever  was  really 
the  case,  the  project,  thus  arrested  in  its 
beginning,  was  never  afterwards  mooted. 

In  France,  as  we  have  before  noticed,  the 
Jewish  population  from  the  beginning  of  the 
sixteenth  century  was  composed  of  three  de- 
cidedly different  bodies:  the  French  Jews^ 
(among  whom  we  may  reckon  those  of  Avig- 
non, though  many  were  of  Italian  descent); 
the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  Jews;  and  the 
Alsatian  Jews,  who,  as  well  as  the  Jews  of 
Lorraine,  were  in  reality  Grerman  Jews,  who . 
had  become  the  subjects  of  France,  either  by 
right  of  Conquest  under  Louis  XIV.,  or  by 
treaty  and  inheritance  under  Ijoxoe  XV.  We 
have  mentioned  the  settlement  and  privileges 


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AND   GBEAT   BRITAIN.  495 

enjoyed  by  the  Spanish  and  Portuguese  emi- 
grants in  France,  and  also  of  a  body  of  Jews 
and  their  descendants  in  the  southern  pro- 
Tinces  of  France,  especially  in  Provence. 

The  science  and  literature,  as  weU  as  the 
trade  and  civilization  of  the  Jews  of  France, 
was  entirely  concentrated  in  these  two  divi- 
sions of  the  people. 

Of  the  remaining  tfewish  {x>pulation,  part 
had  disappeared,  and  the  rest  had  sunk  to  a 
level  witii  their  brethren  in  Germany,  being 
rather  endured  upon  sufferance  than  tolerated 
by  virtue  of  rights  or  privileges.  No  names 
worthy  of  note  in  history  have  been  found 
among  them.  Whether  the  famous  banker, 
Samuel  Bernard,  (the  Kothschild  of  his  time, 
who  went  over  to^the  Roman  Catholic  Church, 
and  established  his  family  by  marriages  with 
many  of  the  chief  houses  in  France),  belonged 
to  the  original  Jews  of  France,  or  to  a  family 
of  Israelitish  refugees  in  that  country,  is  un- 
certain. French  memoirs  of  his  time  speak  of 
the  eminent  financial  services  he  rendered  to 
.Louis  XV.  in  the  latter  and  more  disastrous 
years  of  his  reign.  The  haughty  monarch, 
already  advanced  in  years,  might  be  seen 
condescending  himself  to  conduct  the  Jew, 
Samuel  Bernard,  over  his  palace,  and  exhibit- 


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496  THE  JEWS   IK   FBANCE. 

ing  the  curiosities  of  the  royal  abode  at  Marly. 
The  Jewish  capitalist  was  unable  to  resist 
these  royal  attentions,  and  the  monarch  in  his 
distress  was  too  happy  to  secure  the  friendship 
of  this  new  ally. 

During  the  same  century,  the  eighteenth, 
Paris  became  again  the  residence  of  a  Jewish 
population,  composed  of  the  three  bodies 
before  mentioned,  who  came  to  increase  in 
that  capital  both  their  own  numbers  and  their 
temporal  resources.  The  Jews  in  Alsace 
meanwhile  continued  in  as  abject  a  condition 
as  in  any  part  of  Germany,  because  of  the 
horrible  leprosy  of  usury  which  there,  in  par- 
ticular, made  them  hateful.  In  Strasburgh, 
only  a  very  few  families  were  allowed  to 
reside,  the  members  and  descendants  of  which, 
even  to  the  present  day,  have  obtained  esteem 
in  equal  proportion  with  the  contempt  that  is 
awarded  to  the  rest  of  their  nation.  In  Lor- 
raine, also,  the  whole  of  the  Jews  were  in  bad 
odour  for  the  same  reason.  Duke  Leopold,  in 
1724,  had  established  the  laws  concerning 
them  on  a  permanent  footing.  Prom  that, 
time  permission  to  reside  was  granted  only  to 
180  families^  with  liberty  of  conscience  and 
permission  to  trade,  but  with  strict  injunctions 
to  keep  within  the  Jewish  quarters.     At  the 


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THE   JEWS   IN   PEANCE.  497 

same  time  heavy  taxes  were  imposed  upon 
them  in  Germany,  and  even  the  degrading 
obligation  to  pay  toll  as  cattle, — an  imposition 
which  Louis  XVI.  first  did  away  with  in 
France  in  1784,  and  King  Frederic  Wil- 
liam II.,  three  years  after,  in  Prussia.  In  the 
rest  of  Germany  this  toll  was  not  abolished 
till  the  revolutionary  era  had  commenced. 

It  is  a  fact  worthy  of  note,  that  the  period 
we  have  just  named — the  period  which  effected 
such  a  complete  change  in  the  position  both 
of  Protestants  and  Jews  in  France,  as  well  as 
in  all  ranks  and  classes  of  society,  was  brought 
about,  in  great  measure,  by  men  who  were  at 
heart  entirely  indifferent  to  Protestantism,  and 
full  of  contempt  and  hatred  towards  the  Jews. 

The  philosophers  and  Encyclopedists 
(though  for  different  reasons)  certainly  looked 
with  no  more  favour  on  the  Jews  than  those 
who,  in  ancient  times,  had  persecuted  them 
because  of  their  religion.  Intolerant  Chris- 
tians had  shown  aversion  to  the  Jews  because 
they  were  the  enemies  of  the  Gospel;  the  soi' 
disant  tolerant  Infidels  hated  them,  on  the 
contrary,  because  of  their  position  as  mtnesses^ 
to  the  Gospel;  because  Jesus  Christ  and  his 
apostles  had  been  of  their  race ;  because  their 
very  existence  constituted  a  proof  and  an  in- 


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498i  THE  JEWS   IN   GEEAT   BBITAIN. 

contestable  eyidence  of  the  historical  truth  of 
the  Old  as  well  as  the  New  Testament  No 
one  could  have  carried  contempt  and  hatred 
for  all  that  relates  either  to  religion  or  to  the 
Jews  (including  Christianity)  to  a  greater 
height  than  did  Voltaire,  at  once  the  cham- 
pion and  the  idol  of  what  was  looked  upon  as 
religious  tolerance  and  philosophical  philan- 
thropy. 

Long  before  the  cry  of  liberty  and  equality 
had  spread  from  the  centre  of  America  and  of 
France  on  the  European  Continent,  the  Gro» 
vemment  of  Great  Britain  had  already  tried 
the  adventurous  step  of  granting  naturaliza* 
tion  to  the  Jews,  with  some  few  restric- 
tions, which  the  nature  of  the  constitutioa 
rendered  absolutely  necessary.  The  number 
of  the  Jewish  population  in  England  at  that 
time  was  calculated  at  about  1,200,  which  has 
since  been  more  than  doubled.  The  richer 
and  more  influential  members  of  the  com- 
munity had,  from  the  time  of  their  admission, 
loyally  served  the  Government,  both  in  person 
and  with  their  capital;  they  had  still  more 
recently,  during  the  insurrection  of  1745, 
given  proof  of  their  fidelity  to  the  reigning 
Protestant  dynasty.  In  the  colonies,  as  we 
have  seen,  they  were  £rom  the  first  admitted  on 


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THE  JEWS  IK  OBEAT  BRITAIN.     499 

a  footing  of  equality  with  the  former  English 
inhabitants.  For  all  these  reasons  the  ministers, 
in  1753,  brought  a  Bill  into  Parliament 
*' granting  to  all  Jews  who  had  resided  in 
Great  Britain  or  Ireland  for  the  space  of  three 
years  the  rights  of  English  citizenship,  with 
the  exception  of  patronage  and  admission  to 
Parliament."  The  Bill  passed,  notwithstand- 
ing violent  opposition  both  without  and  within 
the  House ;  some  of  the  speakers  in  the  debate 
uttered  the  most  disastrous  forebodings  as  to 
the  consequences  of  such  a  measure  upon  the 
honour,  the  commerce,  and  especially  the 
religion  of  the  country,  which  they  beheld  in 
idea  entirely  pervaded  by  Judaism.  After  the 
law  had  passed,  however,  public  feeling  against 
the  measure  was  far  more  loudly  expressed  ; 
one  of  the  Bishops  who  had  voted  for  it  was 
hooted  and  otherwise  ill-treated,  and  the  Go- 
vernment was  beset  on  all  sides  with  Petitions 
for  a  repeal  of  the  Bill.  Shortly  after  it  was, 
in  fact,  repealed  by  Parliament  on  the  recom- 
mendation of  the  Ministers.  It  is  worthy  of 
remark,  that  the  Jews  themselves  at  that  time 
appeared  little  anxious  for  the  success  of  the 
measure.  On  the  contrary,  they  were  rather 
opposed  to  it,  fearing  on  liieir  own  side  great 
danger  to  the  religion  of  their  &thers,  just  as 


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500  THE   JEWS   IN   BOHEMIA, 

the  Christians  did  on  theirs.  A  circumstance 
calculated  to  increase  this  fear  on  the  part  of 
the  Jews  was  the  conversion  of  Simpson 
Gedeon,  son  of  one  of  the  principal  Jews  in 
London,  to  the  faith  of  the  English  Church. 
He  married  a  sister  of  General  Gage,  and  waa 
returned  to  Parliament  for  the  county  of 
Cambridge,  and  afterwards  for  Coventry.  It 
was  among  the  higher  ranks  of  society  in 
England,  generally  speaking,  that  most  dis- 
pleasure  was  felt  at  the  repeal  of  this  law. 

In  the  midland  and  eastern  parts  of  Europe 
the  monotonous  history  of  Israel's  degradation 
and  humiliation  was  varied  from  time  to  time 
by  adversities  and  events  of  a  different  nature 
from  those  we  have  just  described.  Among 
the  Sclavonic  races,  including  the  whole  of 
Hungary  to  the  very  confines  of  Turkey,  the 
Jews,  as  of  old,  continued  to  form  an  essential 
element  of  society  by  means  of  their  incredible 
activity.  They  were  the  sole  intermediate 
agents  between  the  jovial  and  warlike  nobility 
and  the  rest  of  the  inhabitants,  who  were 
treated  nearly  on  the  footing  of  serfs.  By  this 
means  everything  that  was  in  any  way  con- 
nected with  commerce,  manufactures,  and 
trade  in  retail,  fell  entirely  into  the  hands  of 
the  Jews,  and  was  carried  on  by  their  inter- 


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HUNGABY,   RUSSIAi    AND   POLAND.        501 

yention.  In  other  respects,  excluded  from  all 
intercourse  with  Christians  in  everything 
relating  to  science,  art,  and  mental  cultivation, 
their  fine  capacity  and  high  intellectual  powers 
were  for  the  most  part  confined  wit^  the 
narrow  circle  of  their  own  theological  studies. 
This  barren  and  death-like  condition,  however, 
could  not  entirely  preserve  them  from  some 
remains  of  mediaeval  persecutions.  Thus,  in 
1541,  accusations  were  laid  against  the  Jews 
of  having  been  the  cause  of  a  series  of  in- 
cendiary fires  which  at  that  time  desolated 
Bohemia,  and  they  had  already  received  orders 
from  the  Emperor  to  leave  the  country,  when 
fortunately  the  real  culprits  were  discovered, 
and  the  Jews  cleared  from  the  accusation. 
Soon  after,  a  fresh  persecution  was  raised,  with 
new  threats  of  expulsion;  while  an  inquiry 
was  set  on  foot  to  decide  the  question,  whether 
the  Jewish  prayer-book  contained  curses 
against  the  Christians.  They  gained  but 
little  in  being  absolved  from  this  new  accu- 
sation ;  for  a  decree  of  banishment  was  on  the 
point  of  being  hurled  against  the  whole  of  the 
Israelitish  population,  when  a  Jew,'  named 
Mordecai  Temak,  obtained  the  intervention  of 
Pope  Pius  IV.,  and  by  this  means  averted  the 
execution  of  the  decree.   Another  disaster  was, 


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503  THE   JEWS   IN   BOHEMIA, 

about  the  same  time^  added  to  their  mis- 
fortunes by  a  fire,  which  at  Prague  consumed 
the  whole  of  the  Jewish  quarter.  In  the  year 
1674  many  Jews  of  Moravia  lost  their  lives 
during  an  insurrection  of  the  people.  During 
the  course  of  the  seventeenth  century  more 
favourable  relations  were  established  between 
the  Bohemian  Government  and  its  Jewish 
subjects.  By  their  zeal  and  activity  in  the 
defence  of  the  city  of  Prague  against  the 
Swedes,  conjointly  with  the  Imperial  troops, 
they  gained  both  applause  and  privileges; 
among  the  latter  was  permission  to  take  part 
in  the  public  festivities,  on  account  of  the 
peace,  (in  1649,)  bearing  two  banners,  which 
had  on  some  former  occasions  been  presented 
by  the  Emperor  of  Germany  to  the  Jews.  On 
the  other  hand,  they  had  in  Hungary  excited 
the  wrath  of  the  Imperialists  by  holding  out 
their  quarter  against  them  when  the  Turks 
were  in  possession  of  the  rest  of  the  town. 

The  year  1744  seemed  likely  to  bring  upon 
the  two  hundred  thousand  Jews  of  Bohemia  a 
catastrophe  more  terrible  than  any  their  nation 
had  experienced  for  the  space  of  two  centuries, 
— a  banishment  in  perpetuity  from  that 
country!  The  States-General  of  the  Nether- 
lands, at  the  request   of  the  synagogue  of 


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HUNaART)  BUjBSIA,   AND  POLAND.        503 

Amsterdam^  took  a  lively  interest  in  their  case, 
and,  supported  by  the  English  Government, 
succeeded  in  making  manifest  the  innocence  of 
the  Jews  and  persuading  the  Imperial  Govern- 
ment to  reverse  this  terrible  decree, — ^not, 
however,  before  thousands  of  Jews  had  left  the 
country. 

In  the  Bussian  or  Muscovite  territory  but 
few  Jews  were  to  be  met  with  during  the 
period  between  the  sixteenth  and  eighteenth 
centuries.  They  appear,  however,  to  have 
been  admitted  during  the  reign  of  Peter  the 
Great,  as  the  Czar  is  reported  to  have  said, 
y^^  He  did  not  fear  for  his  Russians  the  cleverest 
or  most  crafty  Israelite."  In  the  reign  of  the 
Empress  Elizabeth,  1745,  their  residence  in 
Russia  was  again  forbidden,  on  account  of  a 
correspondence  which  had  been  discovered 
with  the  exiles  of  Siberia.  The  large  portion 
of  the  Jewish  population  of  Poland  which  is 
under  the  sceptre  of  Russia  has  been  often 
tyrannized  over,  but  never  driven  out  by  the 
Government.  We  hear  also  of  another  part 
of  Russia,  in  which  a  body  of  Jews  have  not 
only  existed,  but  attained  distinction  in  a 
peculiar  manner.  In  the  Ukraine  they  have 
long  been  devoted  to  agriculture  and  the  study 
of  natural  history,  with  other  similar  mental 


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504  THE  JEWS  IN   BOHEMIA, 

and  bodily  ^xerased.  They  are  said  to  have 
attained  in  consequence  a  high  degree  of 
civilization,  and  to  have  been  admitted  to  posts 
of  honour  and  of  public  trust.  In  the  Crimea, 
also,  there  hare  long  been  whole  villages  of 
Jews  distinguished  by  their  prosperity  and 
mental  culture. 

Poland,  meanwhile,  has  ever  remained 
classic  ground,  as  respects  the  singularity, 
both  in  position  and  character,  of  its  Jews, 
during  their  long  exile  and  deep  humiliation. 
The  Jews  themselves  look  upon  thdr  Polish 
brethren  as  the  most  highly-gifted  of  the  nation, 
both  in  intellectual  power  and  every  kind 
of  mental  qualification.  Nowhere  else  do  we 
find  in  so  great  a  degree,  among  the  dispersed 
nation,  a  life  of  so  much  social  activity  com- 
bined with  a  remarkable  bent  towards  religion 
and  contemplative  philosophy;  nowhere  else 
sp  wide  a  separation  between  science  and 
theology,  and,  at  the  same  time,  such  great 
capacity  for  scientific  knowledge;  nowhere 
else  such  deep  national  debasement,  re- 
sulting from  ages  of  ignoble  occupation 
and  servile  subjection,  with  a  character 
so  highly  respectable,  both  in  its  moral 
qualities  and  domestic  relations;  in  a  word, 
nowhere    do   so    many    remains   of   ancient        | 


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HUNOARY,   BU88IA,   AND   POLAND.        505 

nobility,  and,  at  the  same  time,  of  the  most 
wretched  degeneracy,  appear  even  in  the  ex- 
pression of  countenance  and  stature  of  body. 
These  singular  and  original  characteristics  of 
the  Polish  Jew  are  to  be  foupd,  not  only  in  the 
mystic  theosophy  which  usually  distinguishes 
their  schools  and  their  theologians,  but  even  in 
the  existence  of  Caraites  amidst  these  i^yna* 
gogues,  in  other  respects  buried,  if  we  may  so 
express  it,  in  the  study  of  the  Talmud. 

We  shall  not  be  surprised,  then,  to  find  that 
Poland,  in  great  part,  supplied  the  synagogues 
of  Germany  with  teachers  and  rabbins,  ^fter 
the  beginning  of  the  seventeenth  century.  I 
say,  after  the  beginning  of  the  seventeenth 
century;  because,  before  that  time  Bohemia 
seems  to  have  been  superior  to  Poland  in  this 
respect,  which  itself  received  its  principal  rab- 
bins from  the  Jewish  academy  at  Prague. 
The  synagogues  of  Bohemia,  in  the  earlier  part 
of  the  period  we  are  now  considering,  boasted 
of  learned  men  and  authors,  such  as  Rabbi 
David  Ganz,  who,  in  imitation  of  the  Spanish 
Ilabbi,  Abraham  Zacuth,  and  of  the  Italico- 
Spanish  Rabbi,  Gedalia  Ben  Jachia,  wrote  a 
Jewish  chronicle,  which  is  well  known  under 
the  title  of  "Zemach  David"  (Branch  of 
David).     Rabbi  Jehudah  Bezaleel,  of  Prague, 


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506  SABBATHAI8M. 

who  afterwards  migrated  to  Poland,  was  the 
author  of  a  book  "On  the  Deliverance  and 
Perpetuity  of  Israel,"  intended  to  encourage  the 
expectation  of  a  Messiah.  Babbi  Mordecai 
Japh6,  and  many  others,  were  all  disciples,  or 
the  disciples  of  disciples  of  Rabbi  Jacob  Falk, 
who  made  himself  a  name  in  the  sixteenth 
century,  by  introducing  into  the  synagogue  the 
Christian  method  of  disputation  on  matters  of 
religion,  and  applying  this  method  to  Talmudic 
studies.  In  later  years  Cabbalistic  Sabbathaism 
had,  in  the  synagogues  of  Poland,  a  decided 
revival,  and  found,  in  the  person  of  Jacob 
Frank,  a  simple  artisan,  an  influential  leader. 

From  the  time  of  Sabbathai  Sevi,  to  that 
of  the  Frankists,  Cabbalistic  associations  and 
views  had  never  entirely  ceased  to  exist.  After 
the  death  of  Sabbathai,  Rabbi  Nehemiah  him- 
self became  one  of  the  most  zealous  supporters 
of  the  doctrines  taught  by  the  man  he  had 
mainly  contributed  to  unmask.  He  was,  in 
consequence,  excommunicated,  but,  neverthe* 
less,  made  many  proselytes  in  Germany ;  he 
ended  his  career  at  Amsterdam,  in  1690,  where 
he  had  been  living  upon  alms,  as  much  detested 
for  his  opinions,  as  he  Was  admired  for  his 
prodigious  learning. 

After  his  time,    Cabbalistic    Sabbathaism 


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SABBATHAIBM.  507 

re-appeared  in  a  novel  form,  under  the  two 
leaders,  Malach  and  Hajun.  These  two  rah- 
bins,  one  of  whom  was  of  Polish  birth,  were 
the  only  surviving  members  of  a  Jewish  carar 
van,  consisting  of  more  than  thirty  families, 
who,  by  means  of  subscriptions  raised  in 
Bohemia,  Moravia,  Saxony,  and  Holland,  were 
enabled  to  visit  Jerusalem  in  the  year  1700, 
keeping  most  strictly  the  penitential  fasts,  and 
abstaining  from  all  animal  food,  except  on  the 
Sabbath;  while  they  announced  that  the 
coming  of  Messiah  was  ^t  hand.  Most  of 
these  Jewish  pilgrims  died  of  hunger  and 
misery,  or  returned  to  Europe ;  some,  following 
the  example  of  Sabbathai  Sevi  himself,  went 
over  to  Mahometanism,  at  Jerusalem ;  others, 
and  among  them  some  rabbins  of  distinction, 
embraced  Christianity.  These  two  men,  the 
only  surviving  Jews  of  the  dispersed  caravan, 
began  zealously  to  propagate  the  doctrines  of 
the  sect,  in  spite  of  the  anathemas  of  the  rab- 
bins of  Jerusalem  and  Constantinople,  which 
followed  them  into  the  midst  of  the  German 
and  Polish  synagogues.  Hajun  published  works 
which  by  their  mystic  singularity,  but  still 
more  by  their  ppen  confession  of  Trinitarian 
doctrines,  excited  to  the  highest  degree  the 
animosity  of  the  Rabbins.  Befutations,  in 
z  2 


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608  SABBATHAISH. 

which  the  person,  as  well  as  the  doctrine  of 
the  Cabbalist  was  vehemently  attacked,  were 
spread  from  Constantinople  and  Smyrna,  as  far 
as  Amsterdam,  and  elsewhere  in  the  Spanish 
tongue.  The  sect,  notwithstanding,  made  great 
progress  in  Poland,  owing  (as  its  enemies 
declared)  especially  to  its  indulgence  towards 
all  sorts  of  irregularity  and  sin ;  though,  ac- 
cording to  others,  it  was  characterized  by  the 
observance  of  the  severest  abstinence.  The 
two  extremes  are  often  found  closely  united  in 
similar  sects.  There  is  little  doubt,  however, 
that  fanaticism  and  superstition  disfigured  the 
sect  of  Hajun. 

In  the  year  1722,  the  whole  sect  was 
solemnly  excommunicated  by  all  the  syna- 
gogues. Then,  Hajun,  proscribed  throughout 
Europe,  Asia,  and  Africa  as  a  deceiver  and 
teacher  of  false  doctrines,  contrived  to  be 
presented  to  the  Emperor  at  Vienna,  with 
whom  he  ingratiated  himself  by  the  manner  in 
which  he  inveighed  against  ordinary  Judaism. 
About  the  same  time,  many  Rabbins  of  Mora- 
via and  Bohemia  joined  the  sect;  among  others, 
a  certain  Lobli  played  a  conspicuous  part  as  a 
kind  of  prophet,  upon  whom  Hajun  had 
imposed  hands.  A  little  later  in  the  year 
1725,  emissaries  were  sent  out  here  and  there 


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SABBATHAISM.  609 

to  propagate  the  doctrines  of  the  sect,  in  parti- 
cular, a  certain  Moses  Meir,  who  visited  Frank- 
fort and  Manheim  for  that  purpose.  Severe 
measures  were  taken  against  the  proselytes  by 
the  synagogues  at  Amsterdam,  Hamburgh, 
and  especially  at  Prague.  In  1730,  Moses 
Haiim  Luzzato,  who,  in  his  youth  had  pub- 
lished several  works  of  a  mystic  tendency, 
became  a  leader  of  the  sect  in  Poland.  He 
acted  in  concert  with  a  physician  of  Wilna, 
named  Jekuthiel,  who  headed  a  Cabbalistic 
movement  of  no  small  importance.  His 
conduct,  however,  was  unsatisfactory,  and  the 
close  of  his  short  career  insignificant.  To  the 
Eabbins  who  examined  him,  he  denied  by 
letter  all  participation  in  Sabbathaism,  and 
then  again  published  hymns  and  writings 
composed  according  to  those  opinions,  which 
display  great  talent.  At  last  he  appears  to 
have  entirely  given  up  the  prohibited  views, 
and  after  having  for  a  time  gained  a  livelihood 
at  Amsterdam  by  polishing  diamonds,  he  set 
off  for  Jerusalem,  where  he  ended  his  days. 

Another  offset  of  Sabbathaism  in  those  days 
was  the  sect  of  the  Chasidim  (or  saints),  who 
also  acknowledge  the  Cabbala  as  the  founda- 
tion of  their  doctrines  and  practice.  They 
disciplined  themselves  with  fasting  and  mace- 


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510  THE   CHA8IDIM. 

ration,  abstained  from  all  animal  food,  and,  in 
general,  from  all  earthly  enjoyments.  Their 
chief  bore  the  title  of  Tzadik  (or,  the  righteous), 
a  name  which  they  still  retain,  instead  of 
that  of  Rabbi.  The  first  was  a  certain  Israel, 
sumamed  Baal  Schem,  who  taught  in  Poland, 
and  afterwards  in  Fodolia.  His  sentiments 
tod  actions  have  been  amply  detailed  in  a 
book  written  in  Getman  Rabbinic,  which,  in 
the  years  from  1814 — 1818,  had  immense  sale 
among  the  Jews^  He  was  revered  by  his  sect 
as  the  representative  of  the  Deity  upon  earth, 
to  whose  commands  as  much  obedience  was 
due  as  to  those  of  God  himself.  The  great 
drift  of  his  teaching  consisted  in  enforcing  the 
Contemplation  of  God,  tod  strict  obedience  to 
the  Tzadik,  combined  with  a  complete  repose  of 
the  soul,  which  ought  not  to  be  distracted  by 
the  study  of  human  science.  Aftet  Israel's 
death  (1760)  his  three  principal  disciples,  who 
were  also  his  grandsons,  were  elected  chiefe  of 
three  divisions  of  the  Chasidim ;  by  this  means 
the  former  unity  of  the  sect  was  broken  up, 
and  it  was  afterwards  formed  into  a  number  of 
communities  or  associations.  Meanwhile,  the 
number  of  its  adherents  had  increased  from 
ten  to  forty  thousand.  Israel  Baal  Schein  is 
said,  in  the  books  of  the  Chasidim,  to  have 


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THE   CHA8IDIM*  511 

been  taken  up  to  heaven,  there  to  live  in  the 
society  of  angels,  acting  as  mediator  with  God 
and  reconciling  to  Him  every  Jew  who  brings 
up  his  children  in  the  doctrines  of  the  Cha* 
sidim.  The  dignity  of  Tzadik  continued  high 
in  esteem  long  after  the  death  of  Israel  Baal 
Schem ;  not  only  was  its  possessor  venerated  as 
holy,  but  his  whole  family  shared  in  the  defer* 
ence  paid  to  him,  and  all  his  relations  were 
looked  upon  as  saints  among  the  Jews,  His 
books,  his  clothes,  his  furniture,  and  especially 
his  tomb,  were  considered  as  preservatives 
from  and  instrumental  in  the  expiation  of  sin ; 
to  serve  the  Tzadik  gave  a  right  to  eternal 
life  hereafter, — to  converse  with  him  was  to  be 
in  a  state  of  beatitude  here  upon  earth. 

It  is  evident  that  the  elements  of  this 
strange  sect,  most  remarkable  as  a  phenome* 
non  in  the  Judaism  of  later  centuries,  are  to 
be  met  with  not  only  in  the  Cabbala  of  the 
Jews,  but  also  in  the  soofism,  or  quietist  theo- 
sophy,  of  the  Orientals,  and  in  great  part  like* 
wise  in  the  Boman  Catholic  Church.  The 
branch  of  Sabbathaism  held  by  the  Chasidim 
is  so  completely  a  mixture  of  divers  ingredients 
that  it  bestows  honour  both  on  the  Talmud 
and  the  Cabbala,  though,  in  many  respects, 
diametrically  opposite  one  to  the  other.    Thus 


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512  JACOB    FRANK. 

the  Chateidim  declare  themselves  as  originally 
Talmudist  Jews,  and  their  Liturgy  is  that  of 
the  Sephardim,  while  their  hymns  and  poems 
are  of  Cabhalistic  tendency.  At  last,  the  entire 
discrepancy  between  Cabbalistic  Sabbathaism 
and  the  Talmud  was  made  clearly  manifest, 
when,  in  1755,  a  certain  Meschullam,  a 
member  of  that  sect,  publicly  burnt  a  copy  of 
the  Talfnud  in  tte  midst  of  the  Jewish  quarter 
6f  a  city  in  Podolia.  The  Talmudist  rabbins, 
who  in  theory  exalt  the  Cabbala,  but  detest 
any  practical  application  of  it,  needed  not  this 
mark  of  aversion  to  their  book  of  laws,  to  make 
them  feel  how  great  an  obstacle  was  opposed 
by  the  Chasidim  to  their  doctrines  and  autho- 
rity ;  they  had  already  condemned  the  sect  in 
Poland,  on  account  of  its  numerous  fanatical 
aberrations. 

The  anti-Talmtidie  nature  of  real  Cab- 
balistic theology  was  made  cleariy  and  entirely 
manifest,  when  Jacob  Frank,  by  birth  a  Polish 
Jew  (according  to  some,  of  Wallachia),  and 
by  profession,  in  his  younger  days,  a  distiller 
of  brandy,  first  rose  up  in  Turkey,  in  the  year 
1760.  When  he  began,  at  the  age  of  eight- 
and-thirty,  to  preach  his  doctrines  in  the  sylia* 
gOgues  of  Poland,  and  to  m^ke  open  attacks 
upon  the  Talttiud,  a  schism  ensued,  in  which 


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JACOB   FBANK   AND   THE   PRANKISTS.      513 

the  Christian  Government  thought  it  right  to 
interfere.    The  new  sect  which  had  completely 
cast  off  the  Talmud,  and  taken  the  Zohar  as 
the  basis  of  its  confession  of  faith,  found  favour 
and  protection  from  the  Bishop  of  Camentz, 
on  account  of  the  decided  bias  to  Christianity 
contained  in  many  of  the  articles  of  belief  pub«* 
lished  by  Frank  and  his  associates.     He  also 
allowed  himself,  without  difficulty,  to  be  bap- 
tized,  so  that  the  sect  was  soon  looked  upon 
rather  as  an  excrescence  of  Christianity  than  of 
Judaism.     Great  obscurity  rests,  to  this  day, 
on  the  real  sentiments  and  projects  of  Frank, 
as  well  as  on  the  secret  bias  of  the  sect.     It 
is,  however,  clearly  ascertained  that  the  doc* 
trine  of  the  Trinity,  as  a  dogma  of  the  Cab- 
bala, was  professed  with  all  possible  clearness 
in  their  confession  of  faith.     The  Zoharites 
(for  so  the  sect  called  themselves)  declared 
their  belief; — "  that  no  religion  can  possibly 
exist  without  the  knowledge  of  God ;  all  other 
religion  is  an  outward  service  of  works ;  piety 
and  the  love  of  God  are  the  effects  of  a  pro- 
found acquaintance  with  his  nature,  and  this 
must  be.  sought  in  the  study  of  his  law,  where 
it  is  found  as  within  a  kernel,  from  which  it 
must  be  deduced  by  means  of  tradition ;  the 
doctrine  of  Moses  and  the  prophets  has  an 
z  3 


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514      JAOOfi   FRAI7K   AND  TH£  FRANKISTS. 

inward  meaning  far  deeper  than  that  of  the 
letter,  without  which  it  is  only  a  dead  letter, 
and  the  source  of  errors  and  mistakes,  the 
cause  of  the  dangerous  doctrines  of  the 
Talmud; — according  to  the  pure  doctrine  of 
the  Word  of  God,  there  is  one  only  God,  the 
Creator  and  Preserver  of  all  things,  but  re- 
vealed in  three  persons; — God  has  appeared 
£rom  the  beginning  upon  earth  in  human 
form,  but  after  the  entrance  of  sin  he  laid 
aside  this  form,  and  has  since  taken  it  again 
for  the  expiation  of  sin ;  he  will  once  again 
appear  in  human  nature  finally  to  deliver  man 
from  sin.  As  for  Jerusalem,  it  will  never  be 
rebuilt,  and  a  terrestrial  Messiah  is  not  to  be 
expected.'* 

From  this  confession,  which  contains  a  mix- 
ture of  truth  with  error,  Frank  and  his  fol- 
lowers ought  certainly  to  be  looked  upon  as 
belonging  rather  to  the  Christian  than  the 
Jewish  faith,  and  they  gained  at  first  a 
fietvourable  reception  from  the  Roman  Catholic 
clergy.  A  little  later,  after  the  death  of  the 
Bishop  of  Camentj^,  the  Church  of  Rome^ 
stirred  up  by  the  rabbins,  began  to  look  upon 
this  sect  as  dangerous,  and  it  was,  for  a  time, 
persecuted  on  account  of  its  Jewish  Cabbalistic 
views,  as  it  had  been  before  by  the  synagogue 


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JACOB   FRANK   AND   THE  FRANKISTS.      515 

for  its  Cabbalistic  Christian  dogmas.  Many 
of  its  followers  emigrated  to  Turkey,  where, 
for  want  of  the  protection  of  the  Rabbi,  they 
fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Cadi,  and  were  after- 
wards ill-treated  and  plundered  by  the  popu- 
lace. Many  decidedly  embraced  the  doctrines 
of  th6  Roman  Catholic  Church,  retaining, 
however,  sufficient  remains  of  Judaism  to 
arouse  suspicion. 

Jacob  Frank,  who,  from  the  first,  had  de- 
clared himself  a  Christian,  continued  to  act  as 
head  of  the  sect,  declaring  that  the  Lord  and 
the  Prophet  Elijah  had  appeared  to  him,  com- 
manding him  to  convert  the  Jews.  He  was 
looked  upon  with  distrust  by  the  clergy, 
though  he  declared  himself  an  obedient  son  of 
the  Church,  and  was  for  some  time  detained  a 
prisoner  at  Czentoschow  on  account  of  hisr 
strange  opinions,  but  afterwards  delivered  by 
the  Russians  when  they  took  possession  of  the 
fortress  in  1777.  He  then  travelled  through 
Poland,  Bohemia,  aQd  Moravia,  with  a  large 
retinue  and  great  pomp,  and  established  him- 
self for  some  years  in  the  capital  of  Austria, 
under  the  protection  of  the  Empress,  Maria 
Theresa.  From  thence  he  went  to  Bruna, 
in  Moravia,  accompanied  by  a  number  of  Jews 


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516      JACOB   FRAKK    ANi)    THB   F&ANKIST8. 

and  Jewesses,  always  living  in  the  style  of  an. 
Eastern  prince,  wearing  a  splendid  uniform, 
and  abundantly  supplied  from  Poland  with 
money  for  all  his  expenses.  Many  years  later, 
when  no  longer  admitted  at  Vienna,  he  fixed 
himself  at  Offenbach,  in  Hesse,  where  he 
lited  in  a  kind  of  psQace,  always  keeping  up 
the  character  he  had  assumed  as  head  of  a 
religious  sect.  There,  numbers  of  Sabbathaist 
Jews  from  aU  countries  resorted  to  him,  pre- 
senting gifts  and  joining  in  the  public  prayers 
which  he  conducted  with  a  great  display  of 
magnificence,  accompanied  by  all  sorts  of  sin- 
gular ceremonies,  the  meaning  of  which  have 
never  to  this  day  been  explained.  He  died 
three  years  after  his  arrival  at  Offenbach,  and 
was  buried  with  great  pomp  according  to-the 
rites  of  the  Eomish  Church,  being  followed  to 
the  grave  by  a  great  concourse  of  people  as  a 
public  benefactor.  A  cross  was  set  up  over 
his  tomb.  For  sotoe  time  his  daughter  took 
his  place  in  the  guidance  of  the  sect,  which 
was,  however,  soon  dispersed,  especially  when 
the  pecuniary  supplies  began  to  fail.  Ten 
years  after  his  death,  his  successors  and  chil- 
dren (for  he  left  two  sons  besides  his  daughter 
Eve)  published  a  circular  letter  addressed  to 


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THE   FRANKlStS.  517 

all  the  German  synagogues,  written  many 
years  before  by  Frank  himself,  exhorting  the 
Jews  to  acknowledge  the  Christian  religion. 

The  evidence  we  gain  from  all  these  par- 
ticulars suffices  to  prove  that  Jacob  Frank, 
the  head  of  the  Frankists,  (although  he  must 
be  looked  upon  as  a  fanatic  or  adventurer,) 
never  wished  to  be  otherwise  thought  of  than 
as  a  professor  of  Christianity.  Though  par- 
taking in  the  views  of  Sabbathai  Sevi  as  to 
value  of  Cabbalistic  doctrines,  he  never  at- 
tempted to  give  himself  out  as  the  Messiah. 
He  rather  considered  that  he  had  received  a 
mission  to  unite  together  all  religions,  sects, 
and  confessions.  Among  the  paradoxical 
opinions  he  is  said  to  have  advanced,  was  the 
idea  that  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  is  still  upon 
earth,  and  that  he  would  soon  again  send 
forth  twelve  apostles  to  publish  the  GospeL 
The  reasons  of  Frank's  surrounding  himself 
with  all  the  insignia  of  high  rank  have  never 
been  explained.  It  has  been  suspected,  and 
with  much  probability,  that  the  pomp  he 
assumed  had  reference  to  his  dignity  as  chief 
of  a  kind  of  freemasonry  or  mystical  Order,  of 
which  his  sect  have,  since  his  death,  kept  up 
the  marked  characteristics.  All  that  now 
remains  of  the  Frankists  is  contained  within 


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518  THE   JEWS    IN   GERMANY. 

the  Roman  Catholic  Church  of  Poland ;  they 
are,  therefore,  Christians  hy  profession,  though 
distinguishing  themselves,  as  we  have  oh- 
served,  hy  a  kind  of  separation,  or  *^  esprit  de 
corps"  and  hy  marked  remains  of  Judaisnu 
Some  consider  that  they  still  retain  in  secret  a 
heHef  in  the  religion  of  the  synagogue.  They 
are  found  in  Poland,  especially  at  Warsaw, 
dispersed  among  all,  ev^n  the  highest  classes 
of  society,  chiefly  in  the  profession  of  lawyer 
or  physician.  They  are  said  to  have  taken  a 
considerahle  share  in  the  war  of  insurrection 
against  Sussia  in  the  year  1830:  it  has  even 
heen  said,  that  the  chief  of  the  Frankists  was 
memher  of  the  Diet  of  Poland,  and  afterwards 
obliged  to  take  refuge  as  an  exile  in  France. 

At  the  period  of  which  we  have  been  speak- 
ing, while  in  the  southern  and  eastern  parts 
of  Europe  Cabbalistic  theosophy  had  brought 
about  a  stir  in  the  midst  of  ancient  Judaism, 
a  movement  of  a  very  different  kind  was  pre- 
paring in  the  north-western  parts,  and  in  Ger- 
many. In  Prussia,  Mendelsohn,  the  philoso- 
pher formed  by  Plato  and  Maimonides,  was  a 
cotemporary  of  the  adventurous  Cabbalist, 
Jacob  Frank,  in  Poland  and  Austria.  In  the 
whole  of  Germany,  where,  during  the  eigh- 
teenth century,  new  changes  in  many  ways 


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tHE   JEWS   IN   6EBHANY.  519 

for  the  exiles  of  Palestine  were  already  being 
gradually  developed,  die  whole  state  of  the 
Jews,  if  not  more  deeply  degraded  than  in 
Poland,  was  at  least  much  more  barren  and 
death-like.  Any  one  whd  takes  the  slightest 
interest  in  the  fate  and  the  sufferings  of  the 
ancient  people  of  God,  cannot  fail  to  be 
touched  in  reading  the  circumstantial  accounts 
and  the  complaints  of  a  German  Jewish  his- 
torian of  our  time  concerning  what  his  nation 
had  done  and  sufiered,  had  been  dind  had  not 
been,  especially  before  the  time  of  the  peace 
of  Westphalia  and  since,  (with  a  ray  of  hope 
for  better  times,)  until  the  reigns  of  Frederic 
the  Great  and  Joseph  ll.  They  were,  to  use 
the  words  of  the  historian,  a  **  mass  of  suffer- 
ing." And  though  they  had  already  been  a 
suffering  nation — suffering  because  of  their 
transgressions,  and  despised  and  chastened 
because  of  their  sins  and  corruptions,* — yet,  in 
the  days  which  elapsed  between  the  time  of 
the  Reformation  and  the  dawn  of  the  eigh- 
teenth and  nineteenth  centuries,  they  had,  if 
possible,  fallen  still  lower : — by  long-enduring 
habit  they  had  become  almost  insensible  to 
their  misery,  and  even  to  the  shame  which 
attended  it  A  nation  without  a  &ther-land, 
*  ISee  JoBf  0  "  Gescbichte  der  Jnden,"  yiiL  809,  kc 


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520   THE  JEWS  IN  THE  GERMAN  EMPIRE. 

without  unity,  without  arts  and  sciences,  with- 
out government,  without  power,  either  moral 
or  physical,  with  no  longer  ef  en  the  conscioos- 
ness  of  that  earlier  calling  and  grandeur  to 
which  their  deep  downfal  itself  bore  witness, 
and  which  might  still  have  invested  it  with 
.  something  of  tragic  elevation^  if  only  they 
could  have  found,  tears,  like  their  brethren  in 
Spain  and  in  Palestine,  to  weep  over  the  dust 
of  Jerusalem, 

It  is  deeply  painful  to  an  Israelite  who 
loves  his  nation,  however  dispersed,  however 
humbled,  to  relate  the  history,  or,  rather, 
describe  the  death-like  position  of  his  people, 
at  a  time  and  in  a  country  when  that  people 
exhibited  no  other  feelings  than  those  of 
pecuniary  interest  and  self-preservation;  yes, 
when  they  had  so  completely  accustomed 
themselves  to  their  abject  and  servile  position, 
that  the  multitude  of  them  no  longer  regarded 
it  as  a  subject  for  tears,  but  rather  made  a 
jest  of  it; — far  more  deplorable  was,  then,  the 
position  of  the  chosen  people  than  was  that  of 
their  Sampson,  who,  until  his  lion-like  strength 
returned  with  the  hair  of  his  Nazariteship, 
was  compelled  to  make  sport  in  the  midst 
of  the  Philistines,  because  he  had  for  a  time 
turned  aside  from  obedience  to  his  God,     We 


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THE  JEWS  IN  THE  GERMAN  EMPIRE.  521 

cannot  look  without  astonishment,  and  even 
admiration,  upon  the  elasticity  of  human 
nature,  especially  among  the  people  of  Israel 
(the  people  of  the  resurrection,  as  some  one  in 
our  day  has  called  them),  when  we  consider  the 
depth  of  wretchedness  and  degeneracy  from 
which,  particularly  in  Germany,  the  Jew  had 
to  be  raised  before  he  became  even  a  man. 

Among  the  advantages  from  which  the 
German  Jew  was  entirely  excluded  during 
the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries,  was 
that  of  science,  and  under  that  term  we  must 
include  even  their  owti  theology.  If  here  and 
there,  during  that  period,  one  or  two  theo- 
logians are  to  be  met  with,  and  a  few  Jewish 
writings  were  published,  the  greater  part, 
even  of  these,  belonged,  by  birth  or  family,  to 
the  Sclavonic  countries  of  Bohemia,  Hungary, 
or  Poland,  rather  than  to  Germany  itself. 
The  meagre  stock  of  Jewish  literature  in  this 
country  offers  but  few  Gefrman  names  of  any 
note.  Rabbi  Naphtali  Altschuler,  in  1650, 
was  the  author  of  a  commentary  on  the  whole 
of  the  Old  Testament;  Nathan  Spira,  who 
died  in  1577,  published  a  few  mystical  works; 
Jacob  Ben  Isaac,  in  1625,  was  the  author  of 
a  book  called  the  "  Bible  for  Women,"  which 
is  much  in  use  among  the  Jews ;  and  Naph- 


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522   THE  JEWS  IN  THE  GERMAN  EMPIRE. 

tali  Herz  wrote  an  introduction  to  the  study 
of  the  Cahbala. 

In  considering  the  relative  social  position 
of  the  Jews  throughout  the  empire,  as  well  in 
the  separate  Principalities  as  in  the  States, 
we  shall  find  that  in  many  of  the  former  the 
Jews  were  not  tolerated,  at  least,  on  any 
secure  tenure,  with  liberty,  privileges,  and 
the  right  of  building  a  synagogue.  For 
example,  the  Electors  Frederick  II.  and  Otho 
Henry  refused  them  admittance  to  the  Pala- 
tinate; they  were  looked  upon  as  equally 
unwelcome  both  in  Prussia  and  Wirtem- 
berg,  and  in  many  cities  of  Saxony  they  were 
"refused  water,"  according  to  the  ancient 
Roman  formula; 

In  the  free  cities  of  the  Empire,  their  posi- 
tion, though  less  precarious,  was  not  much 
more  inviting.  We  should  be  greatly  mis- 
taken if  we  took  what  has  been  related  of 
Hamburgh  as  a  sample  of  their  treatment  in 
Ithe  other  commercial  and  republican  cities 
of  Gtermany  during  the  period  between  1517 
— 1789.  Their  happier  position  in  that  city 
arose  from  the  arrival  and  prosperity  of  the 
Sephardim  at  the  beginning  of  the  seven- 
teenth century,  whidh  was  extended  in  part 
to  the  originally  German  Jews  of  Hamburgh, 


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THE   JEWS  IN   THE   FREE  TOWNS.         523 

.  a  circumstance  which  was  not,  in  all  cases, 
equally  productive  of  good. 

We  may  form  a  juster  idea  of  the  feeling 
of  aversion  with  which  the  Jews  were  tole- 
rated,  from  motives  of  interest,  in  the  free 
towns  of  the  Empire,  hy  recalling  a  well- 
known  German  proverb  of  the  Middle  Ages, 
which  remained  long  after  in  application: 
"  Happy  is  that  town  where  there  is  neither 
Abraham  (a  Jew),  or  Nimrod  (a  tyrant),  or 
Naaman,  (a  leper)."*  We  also  find  a  striking 
account  of  the  way  in  which  the  Jews  lived  in 
those  cities ;  and  the  light  in  which  they  were 
viewed  by  the  learned  men  and  the  clergy,  as 
well  as  by  the  rude,  ignorant  multitude,  in  a 
book  written  by  the  pastor  and  rector,  T.  T, 
Schudt,  of  Frankfort-on4he-Maine,  published 
in  1714,  and  entitled,  "  Jewish  Curiosities,'* 
In  reading  it,  we  hardly  kiow  which  should 
most  excite  our  astonishment,  whether  the 
deeply-fallen  condition  of  the  unhappy  nation 
themselves,  among  whom  even  temporal  pros- 
perity and  well-being  seemed  to  form  an  ex- 
eeption  to  the  general  rule,  and  who,  as  a 
whole,  were,  in  that  place  especially,  the  con- 
tinual subject  of  prejudice,  and  the  butt  of  end- 

*  Felix  est  ciyitas  in  qua  nosi  est  Abraham,-  Nimrod^ 
et  Naaman. 


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^24 


THE  JEWS  IN  THE  FREE  TOWNS. 


less  taunts  and  derision.  Or  is  it  not  rather 
at  the  feelings  and  convictions  of  pastors  and 
members  of  the  Christian  Church,  who,  with 
the  prophets  of  Israel,  the  Gospel  of  Christ, 
and  the  Epistle  of  St.  Paul  to  the  Romans 
before  their  eyes,  appear  to  have  rejected 
every  feeling  of  humanity,  every  hope  of  re- 
storation for  Israel,  knowing  only,  like  the 
Edomites,  how  to  heap  injury  upon  injury 
upon  the  children  of  Abraham?  Yea,  even 
accusing  of  Judaism  and  hdresy  those  who 
could  cherish  any  cheering  anticipations  for  the 
Israelites  as  a  nation!  And  yet  the  book  of 
the  Rector  Schudt,  hostile  and  virulent  as  it 
is  against  the  Jews  in  general,  is  interesting 
by  the  information  it  gives  of  their  manner 
of  life,  customs,  and  peculiarities,  which  might 
be  sought  for  in  vain  elsewhere. 

The  local  laws  of  Frankfort  were  in  keeping 
with  the  general  prejudices  of  the  people 
against  the  Jews, — a  few  specimens  will  suffice 
by  way  of  example ;  they  were  forbidden  to 
come  out  of  their  own  quarter  on  Sunday, 
or  any  Christian  festival,  and  even  the  gates 
of  their  street,  or  portion  of  the  town,  were 
locked ;  they  might  not  take  into  their  house 
as  lodgers  any  Jew,  except  their  own  family 
and  relations  to  the  second  or  third  degree ; — 


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THE   JEWS    IN    THE   FREE  TOWNS.         525 

they  were  not  allowed  to  have  Christian  ser- 
vants or  nurses, — nor  to  walk  ahout  the  town 
at  the  time  of  any  festivity,  or  during  the  stay 
of  any  foreign  prince; — they  might  not  fre- 
quent the  public  walks ; — if  they  touched  any 
article  of  food  in  the  market,  they  were  com- 
pelled to  buy  it,  with  many  other  similar 
restrictions. 

Here,  then,  are  a  few  traits,  which  clearly 
lAark  the  degree  of  esteem  and  well-being  in 
society,  which  fell  to  the  lot  of  that  Jewish 
quarter  at  Frankfort,  (until  near  the  close  of 
the  eighteenth  century,)  whence  sprung  a  few 
years  later  the  celebrated  commercial  house, 
whose  gold  and  paper  should  hold  both  sove- 
reigns and  people  in  check,  and  in  a  manner 
decide  upon  the  question  of  war  or  peace  in 
Europe, 

And,  yet,  however  miserable  was  the  con- 
dition which  we  have  just  described  of  the 
Jews  at  Frankfort,  this  town  was  looked 
upon  by  them  as  a  more  desirable  residence 
than  many  other  cities  of  Germany,  on  account 
of  the  protection  afforded  by  the  Government, 
the  freedom  for  commercial  speculation  which 
they  enjoyed ;  and,  lastly,  because  of  the  high 
esteem  in  which  the  Rabbins  of  its  Synagogue 
were*held  throughout  Germany. 


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526  THE   JEWS   IN   THE   FREE   CITIES. 

Attempts  were  at  times  made  to  rid  the  city 
entirely  of  its  Jewish  population.  The  years 
of  1613  and  1815,  witnessed  scenes  of  a  nature 
that  call  to  mind  the  excesses  of  the  famous 
flagellants;  and  which  would,  perhaps,  have 
completely  reviFcd  them,  if  the  magistrates 
had  not  at  length  succeeded  in  subduing  the 
party  who  were  at  enmity  with  the  Jews,  A  plan 
was  formed  by  the  populace,  and  encouraged 
by  a  number  of  the  citizens,  to  pillage  the  whole 
of  the  Jewish  quarter.  This  plot,  which  had 
failed  in  the  first  instance,  was  again  revived 
in  connexion  with  some  other  dispute  between 
the  magistrates  ai^d  the  labouring  classes. 
The  people  fell  upon  the  Jewish  quarter,  and 
began  to  pillage;  the  Jews  acted  on  the  de- 
fensive, and  several  persons  were  killed  and 
wounded  on  both  sides.  At  last,  the  Jews 
were  oyerpowered  by  the  superior  numbers  of 
their  assailants,  against  whom  the  magistrates 
would  oppose  no  efficient  force. 

An  agreement  was  entered  into,  by  which 
the  Jews  were  compelled  to  quit  Frankfort  for 
ever,  upon  the  sole  condition  of  a  safe-conduct, 
allowing  them  to  retire  unmolested.  In  con- 
sequence, more  than  1,400  of  the  Jewish  inha- 
bitants left  the  city;  while  a  portion  still  re^ 
mained  concealed,  and  protected  by  the  more 


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THE   JEWS    IN   THE  FREE  TOWNS.  627 

benevolent  of  the  citizens.  The  Jewish  quarter 
was  closed,  and  the  town  even  by  this  means 
with  difficulty  preserved  in  peace. 

Shortly  after  this  display  of  yiolence,  the 
power  of  the  magistracy  was  re-established, 
and  the  Jews  restored  to  their  rights  (1616). 
The  affair  was  brought  before  the  Imperial 
Chamber,  and  the  leaders  of  the  insurrection 
condemned  to  severe  and  even  capital  punish- 
ment. Fettmilch,  the  pipst  guilty,  was  be- 
headed and  afterwards  quarterpd  j  two  of  his 
accomplices  also  suflferpd  the  penalty  of  death, 
while  eight  less  guilty  were  publicly  whipped 
in  presence  of  the  Jews.  The  latter  were 
solemnly  brought  back  into  Frankfort,  under 
an  escort  of  cavalry  and  infantry,  with  banners 
flying,  the  full  possession  of  their  quarter  re? 
stored,  and  thepaselves  taken  under  the  special 
protection  of  the  Emperor,  whose  arms  were 
suspended  over  the  gate  of  the  "  Juden  Strasse." 
The  people  agreed  together  to  make  them 
some  amends ;  the  laws  of  the  city  concerning 
them  were  renewed  and  ameliorated  in  their 
favour ;  only  the  rate  of  interest  (always  the 
avowed  or  secret  cause  of  all  these  disturb- 
ances) was  reduced  to  a  moderate  standard. 

This  affair  at  Frankfort  (the  remembrance 
of  which  has  been  preserved  by  the  Jews  in  a 


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528         THE   JEWS    IN   THE  FREE   TOWNS, 

kind  of  poem,  in  the  rabbinical  dialect,  in 
imitation  of  the  book  of  Esther)  had  hardly 
ended,  when  the  enemies  of  the  Jews  at  Worms 
followed  the  example  which  was  thus  set  them. 
A  lawyer,  named  Chemnitz,  together  with 
many  of  the  citizens,  formed  a  plan  for  bring- 
ing before  the  Chamber  of  Justice  at  Spires  a 
formal  accusation  against  the  Jews,  by  which 
means  they  flattered  themselves  with  the  hope 
of  procuring  their  banishment.  This  plan 
having  failed,  because  the  sentence  of  the 
Chamber  only  served  to  regulate  the  rate  of 
interest,  they  had  recourse  to  a  popular  dis- 
turbance, against  which  the  magistrates  had 
pot  power  to  afford  sufficient  succour.  The 
Jews  were  in  consequenqe  driven  out  by  the 
populace,  the  Jewish  quarter  taken  by  assault, 
the  synagogue,  which  was  said  to  have  existed 
for  767  years,  was  demolished,  and  the  bury- 
ing ground  destroyed.  The  city  was  soon 
obliged  to  call  in  the  assistance  of  the  Elector 
Palatine;  troops  sent  from  Heidelburgh  re- 
stored the  city  to  order.  The  whole  affair  under- 
went a  legal  investigation,  in  consequence  of 
which  Dr.  Chemnitz  was  degraded  from  his 
profession,  and  banished  the  country,  while 
the  Jews,  escorted  by  the  Imperial  troops,  in 
the  beginning  of  the  year  1616,  took  posses- 


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THE  JEWS  IH  THE  FREE  TOWNS.    529 

sion  of  their  quarter,  where  they  have  since 
that  time  remained  undisturbed. 

At  Frankfort,  near  the  end  of  the  same 
century,  the  Jews  suffered  from  a  catastrophe 
of  a  different  nature,  the  consequences  of 
which  reflect  credit  both  on  the  inhabitants  of 
the  town  and  the  sufferers  from  this  fresh  mis;- 
fortune.  A  terrible  fire,  which  first  broke  out 
in  the  house  of  the  learned  Cabbaliat,  Rabbi 
Naphtali  Cohen,  owing  to  the  insufficient  pre- 
cautions takefa  against  it,  spread  to  the  whole 
Jewish  quarter,  and  reduced  it  to  ashes. 
Even  the  enemies  of  the  Jews  were  obliged  to 
admire  the  resignp^tion  which  they  evinced  on 
this  occasion.  The  Christians,  on  their  side, 
showed  great  humanity  towards  the  sufferers. 
'  The  citizens  received  into  their  houses  whole 
families  who  had  been  at  once  deprived  of 
home  and  subsistence,  not  without  having 
consulted  the  clergy,  who,  wonderful  to  relate, 
had  expressed  their  approbation.  The  Rector 
Schudt,  however,  of  whom  we  have  spoken, 
made  this  a  cause  of  reproach  to  the  citizens 
of  Frankfort,  while  he  profited  by  the  occasion 
cruelly  to  malign  the  Jewish  nation.  But, 
even  in  the  midst  of  the  kindness  shown  at 
that  moment  to  the  unhappy  people,  voices 
were  raised  in  the  town  declaring  that  if  a 

A   A 


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530  THE   JEWS    IN   AUSTRIA. 

similar  catastrophe  should  occur  again,  it 
would  be  necessary  to  massacre  all  the  Jews. 
An  edict  from  the  Emperor  Joseph  I.,  ad- 
dressed to  the  chief  magistrate  of  the  town, 
put  a  stop  to  these  threats,  and  to  all  hostile 
demonstrations.  The  Jewish  quarter  was  soon 
entirely  rebuilt ;  their  numbers  amounting,  at 
that  period,  to  twelve  or  thirteen  thousand. 

'[['he  two  principal  states  of  the  German 
Empire  in  which  an  amendment  in  the  posi* 
tion  of  the  Jews  began  to  appear,  and  to  de- 
velop itself  as  early  as  the  eighteenth  century, 
were  Boman  Catholic  Austria  and  Protestant 
Prussia.  This  amendment,  which  has  con- 
tinued in  action  to  the  present  day,  was,  how- 
ever, accompanied  by  many  unfavourable 
circumstances.  It  had  been  preceded  by  times 
of  tribulation  and  oppression,  similar  to  those 
we  have  just  described  in  the  free  cities  of  the 
Empire.  This  had  been  especially  the  case  in 
Austria.  The  house  of  Austria  had  in  different 
ways  been  brought  into  connexion  with  the 
Jewish  populations  of  different  countries.  At 
the  close  of  the  eighteenth  century,  the  num- 
ber of  Jews  subject  to  Imperial  dominion, 
in  the  Italian,  Sclavonic,  and  German  States, 
amounted  to  about  two  hundred  and  fifty 
thousand.     Yet  the  ancient  rights  of  the  Em- 


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THE   JEWS   IN   AUSTRIA.  531 

peror  of  Germany  over  the  Jews  had  either 
fallen  into  oblivion,  or  devolved  upon  the  sove- 
reigns of  the  diflferent  states  of  Germany.  In 
Italy  the  Austrian  rdle  had  shown  itself' 
fevourably  disposed  towards  them;  they  are 
found  in  more  than  one  instance  employed  by 
the  Emperor  on  important  missions,  and  even 
raised  to  the  rank  of  nobility.  In  Bohemia 
and  Hungary  we  have  already  told  the  vicissi- 
tudes of  their  lot,  In  Austria  Proper,  at 
Vienna  especially,  their  position  was  at  first 
unfavourable,  and  afterwards  uncertain,  till 
the  reigns  of  Maria  Theresa  and  Joseph  11. 
The  laws  which  regulated  the  admission  of  the 
Jews,  and  their  treatment  by  the  Government, 
had  here,  as  elsewhere,  been  made  during  the 
Middle  Ages.  From  the  first  establishment 
of  the  duchy,  in  1267,  the  Jews  were  looked 
upon  as  belonging  to  the  sovereign  of  the 
country.  A  council,  held  at  Vienna,  in  1167, 
had  already  imposed  the  ordinary  burdens  and 
prohibitions,  which  in  Austria,  however,  were 
not  enforced  with  rigour.  The  formula  of  the 
oath  (which  was  not  used  there  only)  in  that 
country  is  worthy  of  special  notice.  The  Jew 
was  obliged  to  take  it  upon  the  hide  of  a  pig, 
while  the  wording  of  it  (as  if  inviting  to  per- 
jury) contained  an  almost  explicit  declaration, 

A   A   2 


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532  THE   JEWS   IN   AUSTRIA* 

that  a  curse  rested  upon  himself  and  his  chil* 
dren  because  of  the  death  of  Jesus.  In  after 
times,  favour  and  iUUtreatment  in  turns  fell  to 
their  lot  under  the  government  of  the  arch* 
dukes.  At  Vienna  and  elsewhere  they  were, 
both  in  1420  and  in  1464,  persecuted  and 
threatened  with  murder  and  pillage.  Maxi* 
milian  I.  persecuted  them  in  Austria  and 
tolerated  them  in  Moravia.  Ferdinand  L 
(1553 — 1564)  granted  them  a  residence  in  the 
Austrian  capital,  and  a  permission  to  trade  in 
jewellery  and  horses,  which  latter  they  have 
since  retained;  afterwards  he  again  drove 
them  out.  Maximilian  II.  (1564 — 1576)  and 
Ferdinand  II.  and  III.  (1619—1657)  granted 
them  fresh  liberties,  and  at  Vienna  they  were 
in  possession  of  a  synagogue.  But  in  that 
city  especially,  the  populace  were  inclined  to 
show  them  the  very  greatest  hostility.  These 
inimical  feelings  were  increased  in  the  years 
1641 — 1646,  by  false  rumours,  stating  that  the 
Jews  were  employed  on  all  sides  as  spies  by 
the  Swedes.  An  Imperial  "safe-guard"  was 
granted  them  in  1649  against  all  threats  and 
ill-usage  on  this  account  In  1668  they  were 
accused  of  having  set  fire  to  the  citadel :  in 
consequence  of  this  rumour  the  Jews  and  the 
citizens   came  to    blows,   and  several   were 


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THE   JEWS   IN    AUSTRIA.  533 

killed  and  wounded  on  both  sides.  In  vain 
this  oppressed  people  implored  the  protection 
of  the  Empress,  bom  Infanta  of  Spain;  the 
magnificent  present  offered  tot  that  purpose 
was  declined.  An  Imperial  edict  soon  ap- 
peared, desiring  the  Jews  to  4uit  Vienna  and 
the  whole  duchy ;  and  their  synagogues  were 
changed  into  churches.  A  single  exception 
was  made  in  favour  of  Wolf  Schlesinger,  agent 
for  the  Court;  and  by  favour  of  this  permis- 
sion other  Israelites  were  soon  after  allowed; 
In  1677,  Samuel  Oppenheitner  and  Sampson 
Wertheimer  took  up  their  abode  at  Vienna  as 
agents  for  the  Court;  in  1697,  the  Jews  had 
again  become  sufficiently  numerous  to  fotm  a 
community.  The  Jews  of  Vienna,  though  in 
turns  driven  out  aUd  recalled,  persecuted  and 
favoured,  had  in  the  meantime  some  represent- 
atives of  their  nation  high  in  favour  at  the 
Court.  Thus  the  femily  of  Oppenheimer  pos- 
sessed sufficient  weight  with  the  Government 
to  prevent  the  publication  of  Professor  Eisen- 
menger's  celebrated  work  of  "Judaism  Un- 
veiled," which  seemed  likely  in  Germany  to 
stir  up  fresh  persecutions  against  that  people. 
An  Imperial  mandate  pronounced  sentence  for 
the  confiscation  of  all  the  copies  of  the  work. 
The  author  himself  had  only  petmission  to 


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534  tH£   JEWS   IN   AUSTRIA. 

preserve  two^  which  he  carried  with  him  to 
Berlin.  There,  in  consequence  of  the  recom* 
m^idation  of  the  famous  Yablontsky,  the 
book  had  much  better  success,  and  not  only 
permission  but  even  pecuniary  assistance 
towards  the  expenses  of  its  publication  was 
granted  hy  the  King.  This  work  is  jiow  well 
known  in  the  literary  world,  and  has  often 
been  made  use  of  to  the  disadvantage  of  the 
Jew,  although  it  did  not  succeed  in  producing 
actual  persecution.  In  Prussia  especially,  the 
Government  was  really  beginning  to  form 
juster  notions  of  the  duty  and  the  interests 
of  the  State  in  connexion  with  this  part  of 
the  population ; — e.  g.y  with  the  indestructible 
nation. 

But  to  return  to  their  fate  in  Austria.  Their 
position  in  that  country  greatly  improved  dur- 
ing the  reign  of  Maria  Theresa.  At  that  period 
the  families  of  Amstein,  Eskeles,  Zeidendorfer, 
Schlesinger,  Sinzheimer,  and  Honig  von  Ho- 
nigsberg,  were  already  high  in  favour  at  Court, 
and  many  of  them  raised  to  the  nobility.  Pro- 
tection from  the  Court,  also,  encouraged  the 
establishment  of  manufactories  and  workshops 
among  the  Jews,  and  their  position  in  general, 
with  the  exception  of  much  exclusion,  and 
many  severe  but  perhaps  necessary  restric- 


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THE   JEWS    IN   AUSTRIA.  535 

tions,  became  gradually  more  and  more  favour- 
able. 

During  the  reign  of  Joseph  II.,  however, 
the  legblation  for  his  Jewish  subjects  was 
entirely  remodelled  by  the  edict  of  toleration, 
published  in  1782, — an  edict  which  has  since 
been  celebrated  by  Jewish  pens,  both  in  prose 
and  verse,  as  marking  a  decisive  epoch.  By 
this  edict  all  the  old  regulations  were  abolished, 
— the  Jews  allowed  to  take  up  their  abode  in 
any  town  they  pleased,  (though  in  the  country, 
only  by  express  permission.)  A  distinction  was 
made  by  the  same  edict  between  the  inha^ 
bitants  of  the  country  and  strangers;  the 
strangers  (a  burden  which  fdl  as  heavily 
upon  the  resident  Jews  as  upon  the  country 
itself)  were  compelled  to  submit  to  many 
hard  conditions ; — as  a  remuneration  for  these 
new  liberties,  a  considerable  amount  of  taxa- 
tion was  imposed  upon  the  former  of  the  two 
classes ;  but  the  freedom,  also,  when  compared 
with  the  original  state  of  things,  was  consi- 
derable; no  more  distinctive  mark  on  the 
dress, — no  exclusion  from  festivals  and  public 
walks ; — no  confinement  to  a  quarter  apart  ;— 
the  military  profession,  as  well  as  those  of  law 
and  medicine,  thrown  open  to  them ; — the 
right  of  wearing  a  sword,  and  bearing  titles 


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536  THE  JEWS   IN   FRtJSSIA. 

of  nobility  was  granted,  though  without  the 
power  of  holding  landed  pitoperty; — all  trades 
were  permitted,  though  without  admission  to 
the  guilds ; — protection  to  their  children  under 
fourteen  against  the  proselytista  of  the  Roman 
Catholics; — on  their  side  the  obligation  to 
make  use  of  surnames,  to  speak  German  in- 
stead of  the  language  called  Jewish^  and  to 
make  use  of  the  public  institutions  for  instruc- 
tion, whether  Christian  or  Jewish.  This  edict, 
which  was  received  with  great  applause  by  the 
Jews  of  Germany,  formed  really  a  turning 
point  in  the  history  of  European  legislation 
with  regard  to  that  nation. 

The  misfortunes  which,  in  1670,  had  driven 
the  Jews  from  Vienna,  were  the  principal 
cause  of  their  establishment  and  the  increase 
of  their  numbers  in  Prussia,  in  which  country 
the  latter  half  of  the  eighteenth  century  beheld 
an  effectual  change  in  theit  destiny,  and  a 
decided  amendment  in  their  position.  Already, 
some  time  before  the  period  we  have  named, 
the  Jews  had  been  again  admitted  into  the 
states  of  the  Elector  of  Brandenburgh.  It  was 
Tprederic  William,  surnamed,  on  account  of  his 
great  virtue  and  Christian  piety,  the  Great 
Elector  (1640 — 1688),  to  whose  humane  and 
benevolent   administration    towards    all  who 


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THE   JEWS   IN   PBUSSIAi  537 

were  oppressed,  the  Jews  were  indebted  for  an 
asylum  and  a  safejabode  in  Prussia.  He  was 
himself  under  great  obligations  to  Heiman 
Gompertz  atid  Salomo  Elias,  his  two  agents  for 
the  Courts  who  displayed  indefatigable  zeal  and 
unshaken  fidelity  in  th6  rdanagement  of  all 
his  financial  resources  for  the  war^  When  the 
Jews,  who  had  been  persecuted  in  Austria^ 
applied,  in  consequence,  to  Neuman,  the  Resi- 
dent for  Brandenburgh,  at  Vienna,  with  a 
request  to  be  admitted  into  the  Electoral  States, 
the  immediate  reply  was,  "  That  forty  or  fifty 
respectable  families  would  be  willingly  re- 
ceived." In  consequence  of  this  permission, 
the  specified  number  soon  established  them- 
selves at  Berlin,  Potsdam,  and  other  parts  of 
the  territory  of  the  noble  Elector.  From  this 
beginning  sprung  the  whole  synagogue  that 
now  exists  in  Prussia.  The  complaints  which 
arose  in  different  parts  at  the  toleration  and 
protection  granted  to  the  Jews,  were  met  by 
the  Elector  with  a  firm  adherence  to  the  prin# 
ciples  he  had  adopted,  and  a  statement  of  the 
actual  advantages  which  the  country  derived 
from  its  Jewish  inhabitahts.  In  the  year  1696|. 
their  number  was  already  so  considerable,  that 
Dr.  Beckman,  of  Frankfort-on-the-Oder,  re- 
quested permisnon  to  print  the  Talmud,  in  the 
▲  A  3 


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538  TH£  XEW8   IN   PRUSSIA. 

foil  expectation  of  finding  a  sufficient  demand. 
In  the  last  year  of  the  seventeenth  century  a 
special  body  of  rules  for  the  Jews  of  the  Elec- 
torate was  first  put  in  force.  Calumnies  and 
threats  failed  not  to  attend  upon  privileges 
which  yet,  as  we  shall  see,  did  not  prevent  the 
continued  exclusion  of  the  Jews  from  public 
employment.  At  the  same  time,  Jost  Liebmau 
and  David  Riess,  jewellers  to  the  Court,  re- 
ceived permission  to  hold  the  synagogue  ser- 
vices in  their  private  residence ;  soon  after,  a 
public  house  of  prayer  was  allowed,  but  sub- 
jected to  strict  inspection,  lest  the  Jewish 
Liturgy  should  contain  any  signs  of  enmity 
towards  Christianity  or  its  professors.  In  1 7 1 2, 
King  Frederic  commanded,  on  pain  of  severe 
penalty,  that  no  vagabond  Jews  should  be 
admitted  into  the  country ;  a  measure  which, 
as  we  have  already  remarked,  was  as  much  for 
the  benefit  of  the  resident  Israelites  themselves 
as  for  the  other  inhabitants,  on  account  of  the 
inconveniences  and  expense  to  which  these 
were  put  by  their  wandering  coreligionists, 
from  which,  to  this  day,  they  have  never  been 
entirely  delivered.  During  the  same  reign, 
the  synagogue  at  Berlin,  one  of  the  finest  in 
Germany,  was  completed  under  the  royal  pro- 
tection, in  Bpite  of  the  clamour  raised  on  all 


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THE   JEWS   IN   PBTJSSIA.  539 

sides  against  so  great  a  concession.  The 
Government  of  Frederic  William,  (1717 — 
1740,)  the  father  and  predecessor  of  Frederic 
the  Great,  was  equally  fiivourable  to  the  Jews ; 
at  least  he  never  persecuted  them,  notwith- 
standing the  despotic  tendency  of  his  rule, 
while  many  of  them  were  in  peculiar  favour  at 
Court,  and  distinguished  by  various  privileges. 
On  the  other  hand,  this  same  prince  had 
imposed  upon  the  Jews  in  his  states  some 
rather  arbitrary  charges ;  such  was  an  obliga- 
tion to  purchase  the  royal  venison,  when  the 
King  in  hunting  had  taken  or  killed  more  wild 
boars  than  he  could  consume  at  his  own  table. 
To  comply  with  this  absurd  decree,  they  pur- 
chased  the  forbidden  meat,  and  gave  it  to  be 
consumed  at  the  hospitals.  A  somewhat  similar 
burden  had  of  ancient  times  been  laid  upon 
them,  upon  any  occasion  of  family  rejoicing, 
such  as  the  marriage  of  a  son,  the  acquisition 
of  property,  or  any  similar  event,  the  Israelite 
was  compelled  to  make  a  purchase  at  the 
Boyal  porcelain  manufactory,  to  the  amount  of 
800  thalers.  Afterwards,  in  the  reign  of 
Frederic  William  II.,  1787,  they  were  rejeased 
in  perpetuity  from  this  obligation  on  the  pay- 
ment of  4,000  thalers  at  once. 

Frederic  the  Great  is  thought  not  to  have 


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540  THE   JEWS   IN   PRUSSIA. 

looked  favourably  upon  the  Jews.  It  would 
indeed  have  been  surprising  that  the  friend  of 
Voltaire,  the  philosophic  and  infidel  king, 
should  have  shown  any  personal  affection  for 
the  people  of  the  Old  Testament  in  their  dis- 
persion, at  once  so  wretched  and  y6t  so  full  of 
meaning.  Nevertheless,  he  took  great  pains 
to  become  acquainted  tvith  their  position  in  the 
state.  Though  his  decrees  cannot  be  compared 
in  liberality  with  those  of  Joseph  II.  for  his 
own  peculiar  states — though  the  legislation  of 
Frederic  for  the  Jews  did  not  produce  a  very 
happy  consequence,  yet  even  ♦Jewish  historians 
do  not  attribute  such  a  result  to. any  ill-will  on 
the  part  of  the  King  towards  this  miserably 
oppressed  nation,  but  to  the  wretchedness  of 
the  position  in  which  he  foiind  them,  and  to 
their  historical  relations,  which  could  not  at 
once  be  changed.  It  is  even  related  (so  far 
was  Frederic  II.  from  any  positive  dislike  to 
them,)  that  he  himself  made  the  observation 
that,  "To  oppress  the  Jews  never  brought 
prosperity  to  any  Government."  When,  there- 
fore, he  paid  no  regard  to  the  merit  of  Moses 
Mendelsohn,  or  at  least  gaive  him  no  token  of 
approbation,  it  was  rather  the  indifierence 
shown  by  the  King  as  a-  French  author  to 
*  *  See  JoBiy  iz.  35,  36. 


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THE   JEWS   IN   PRUSSIA.  541 

German  literature  in  general,  than  any  preju- 
dice against  the  Jews,  which  caused  this  neglect. 
On  the  contrary,  many  Israelites  obtained 
reception  and  fatour  at  his  Court,  as  well  as 
that  of  his  father.  His  "  General  Privilege," 
published  in  the  year  1760,  which  in  part 
abolished,  and  in  part  revived  and  confirmed 
the  ancient  laws  concerning  the  Jews,  appears 
to  have  had  in  view  the  diminution  of  their 
numbers,  but,  at  the  same  time,  the  amend- 
ment  of  their  social  position.  Hence  arose  the 
great  severity  with  which  the  Government 
guarded  against  the  entrance  of  strange  Jews, 
and  the  precautions  of  every  kind  which  were 
taken  to  assure  a  home  to  those  Jews  who 
were  possessed  off  ivealth,  and  also  to  keep  at 
a  distance  all  who  could  not  bring  proof  of 
possessing  the  means  of  subsistence.  By  this 
"Privilegium"  the  Jewish  population  was 
more  strictly  than  ever  divided  into  Jews 
tolerated  hy  inheritance^  Jews  personally  tole- 
rated,  that  is  to  say,  only  during  their  own 
life,  to  the  exclusion  of  their  descendants.  All 
who  were  not  positively  engaged  in  business 
or  connected  with  the  synagogue  by  aty  post 
or  office,  belonged  to  the  second  class.  Among 
those  who  were  tolerated  by  inheritance,  the 
right  of  abode  descended  to  only  one  child  of 


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1 


542  THE   JEWS   IN   PRUSSIA. 

the  fitmily ;  after  1740,  by  virtue  of  a  privil^e 
purchased  at  the  price  of  seventy  thousand 
thalers,  a  second  child  might  also  enjoy  his 
father's  right,  on  giving  proof  that  he  possessed 
a  capital  of  one  thousand  thalers.  Tlie  rega«- 
lations  on  the  subject  of  marriage  were  especi- 
ally severe.  All  Jewish  servants  who  wished 
to  marry  were  obliged  to  leave  the  country. 
At  Berlin  the  Jews  were  not  allowed  to  hold 
in  possession  more  than  forty  houses,  in  the 
rest  of  the  kingdom  the  same  proportion  held 
good,  and  in  no  case  without  special  permission. 
AU  landed  property  was  entirely  refused  to 
them ;  while  impositions  in  every  possible  form, 
and  on  every  occasion,  were  levied  upon  about 
1,600  Jewish  fistmilies,  in  1786.  Their  sphere 
of  activity  was  limited  to  trade  either  in  money 
or  effects,  and  in  some  few  instances  to  indus- 
trial arts,*  but  only  by  express  permission  from 

*  It  is  worthy  of  note,  that  the  only  art  which  at  this 
period  was  carried  to  any  perfection  by  the  German  Jews, 
was  that  of  engraving  on  precious  stones  ;  an  art  in  which, 
up  to  the  present  time,  elnd  in  abnost  every  countiy,  they 
have  shown  peculiar  skill  and  talent ;  we  may  cite  as  an 
example,  Joseph  Levin,  who  engraved  with  great  success 
on  a  diamond  the  arms  of  i^rederic  L  of  Prussia.  The 
preservation  of  this  art  is  especially  remarkable  among 
the  descendants  of  Israel,  if  we  view  it  in  connerion  with 
the  earlier  period  of  their  existence  as  a  nation,  when  oa 


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THE   JEWS   IN   PRUSSIA.  543 

the  King.  On  the  whole,  they  were  treated 
as  inferior  to  the  other  inhabitants  of  the  coun- 
try, and  the  whole  commnnity  was  considered 
responsible  for  the  crimes  of  its  individual 
members.  In  Silesia  the  regulations  were 
more  or  less  the  same.  The  successor  of 
Frederic  the  Great  endeavoured  by  new  laws 
to  effect  a  salutary  change  for  both  Jewish 
inhabitants  and  residents.  But  the  laws  them- 
selves bear  the  stamp  both  of  the  fearfully 
degraded  state  of  the  Jewish  population,  and 
of  the  oppressive,  exclusive,  and  repressive 
measures  which  were  thought  needful  to  the 
interest  of  that  portion  of  the  community. 
Since  that  time  the  prospects  of  the  Jews, 
especially  in  Silesia,  have  much  improved. 

The  general  impression  we  receive  of  the 
position  in  which  the  Jews  were  to  be  found 
in  the  Prusdan  states,  during  the  latter  part 

so  memorable  an  occasion,  and  for  so  peculiar  a  purpose, 
the  engraving  of  stones  was  practised  by  men  of  Israel. 
£xod.  xxviii.  21.  In  general,  it  is  interesting  to  mark 
the  connexion  subsisting  between  the  arts  and  sciences 
mentioned  in  the  Biblical  history  of  the  Israelites,  and 
those  still  subsisting  among  their  descendants  of  the 
dispersion.  Thus,  to  the  present  day,  thej  have  continued 
to  produce  poets,  singers,  and  musicians,  but  few  painters 
and  sculptors — ^not  one  who  has  attained  any  degree  of 
eininenoe« 


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544  THE   JEWS   IN   PRUSSIA. 

of  the  last  century,  is,  on  the  whole,  a  melan* 
choly  one.  The  wretchedness  and  degradation 
of  the  multitude  is  even  more  remarkable  when 
brought  into  contrast  with  the  riches  and 
splendour  possessed  by  some  few  individuals. 
And  yet,  as  the  historian  whom  we  have  often 
quoted  remarks,  it  is  to  the  good-will  and 
privileges  obtained  by  these  favoured  few,  that 
the  amended  position  and  the  social  and 
intellectual  civilizatidn  of  the  German  Jews 
owe  their  tery  existence. 

The  life  of  Moses  Mendelsohn  marks  a  very 
decisive  period  in  the  progress  of  science  and 
literature  among  the  German  Jews,  fruitful 
in  results  which  were  pattly  favourable  and 
partly  dangerous  to  his  nation.  His  friends  and 
admirers  applied  to  his  praise  the  well-known 
proverb,  which  has  been  already  quoted  to  the 
honour  of  Maimonides, — "  From  Moses  to 
Moses  there  arose  not  a  Moses.*'  In  truth, 
there  were  many  points  in  common  between 
the  doctor  and  reformer  of  Cordova,  and  the 
philosopher  and  man  of  letters  of  Berlin,  both 
in  the  bent  of  their  minds  and  their  views  con- 
cerning the  religion  of  their  nation.  It  is 
from  the  time  of  Mendelsohn  and  his  cotem- 
poraries,  disciples,  and  imitators,  that  we  may 
date  the  beginning  of  a  completely  new  rela* 


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HOSES   MENDELSOHN,   ETC.  545 

tionship  between  the  Jews  and  the  people  of 
Germany.  We  must  delay  a  few  minutes  to 
trace  the  career  of  this  remarkable  man. 

Mendelsohn  was  born  in  1729,  at  Dersace,  of 
poor  parents.  His  father  was  a  Hebrew  cali- 
grapherj— that  is  to  say,  a  copier  of  the  Bible  and 
other  writings  in  that  language  uponparchmenti 
His  son,  who  was  of  a  weakly  constitution, 
and  rather  deformed,  gave  early  tokens  of  an 
intelligent  and  scrutinizing  mind.  Without  any 
instruction  he  ^Iready  in  childhood  made 
attempts  to  express  himself  in  the  Hebrew 
language  and  style,  as  well  as  in  its  poetry. 
Afterwards,  when  nearly  thirteen,  he  had  the 
Eabbi  David  Frankel  as  his  master  in  the 
study  of  the  Talmud^  But  even  then,  as  well 
as  afterwards,  the  writings  of  Maimonides,  and 
especially  the  More  Nevochim,  were  his 
favourite  subjects  of  study.  When  hardly 
fourteen  he  was  obliged  to  relinquish  learning 
for  the  choice  of  a  profession.  He  went  to 
Berlin  in  search  of  employment,  and  there 
gained  his  scanty  subsistence  by  following  the 
occupation  of  copyist  and  corrector  of  the  press, 
carefully  making  use  of  every  leisure  moment 
to  learn  the  ancient  languages  and  to  gain 
instruction  in  general  literature  and  philosophy. 
At  that  period  he  was  under  great  obligations 


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546  MOSES  MENDELSOHN 

to  Rabbi  Israel,  a  learned  Jew,  who  had  been 
persecuted  by  the  synagogues  of  Poland  on 
account  of  his  opinions,  as  well  as  to  Aaron 
Emmerich,  a  Celebrated  physician  and  Hebrew 
author.  He  afterwards  became  tutor  to  the 
children  of  a  distinguished  coreligionist,  who, 
struck  with  the  amiability  of  his  character  and 
the  greatness  of  his  talents,  intrusted  to  him 
the  whole  management  of  his  affairs.  (1753.) 
In  the  intervals  of  business  he  published,  in 
concert  with  his  friend,  Tobias  Bock,  some 
essays  on  natural  philosophy,  in  Hebrew,  for 
the  use  of  youtlg  men  who  were  studying  the 
Talmud.  This  publication  gave  some  ofience 
to  the  Rabbins,  and  he  escaped  persecution 
only  by  his  strict  observance  of  the  Chral  Law, 
to  which  he  undeviatingly  submitted  all  the 
rest  of  his  life,  although  his  internal  convictions 
were  little  in  accordance  with  its  practices.  He 
soon  became  intimate  with  Lessing,  Nicolai, 
and  other  learned  and  distinguished  Germans, 
his  letters  and  conversations  with  whom  have 
since  been  published.  By  his  Phedon  in 
German  (on  the  immortality  of  the  soul)  and 
several  other  metaphysical  works,  he  soon 
acquired  greater  fame  among  Christians  than 
among  the  Jews,  both  as  a  philosopher  and  a 
distinguished  writer  and  literary  character.  He 


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AND   HIS   COTEKPORABIES.  547 

also  gained  much  esteem  by  the  many  amiable 
and  honourable  points  in  his  character.  Chris- 
tians in  heart,  such  as  Lavater  in  particular,  at 
one  time  flattered  themselves  with  discerning 
in  this  celebrated  Israelite  a  future  confessor  of 
Christ,  founding  their  opinion  on  several  ex- 
pressions and  views  of  Mendelsohn,  in  which 
the  influence  of  Chris^tianity  could  not  fail  to  be 
recognised.  He  made  haste  to  undeceive  them 
in  a  courteous  but  decided  letter  which  he 
addressed  to  the  respectable  pastor  of  Zurich ; 
he  continued,  meanwhile,  his  labours,  not  only 
as  an  author  and  man  of  letters,  but  also  as  a 
reformer,  though  acting  with  the  greatest 
circumspection  and  moderation.  He  it  was 
who,  in  1778,  composed  the  report  which  had 
been  demoded  by  the  King  of  Prussia,  con- 
cerning someparticular  pointsof  rabbinical  juris- 
prudence, such  as  the  right  of  succession,  wills, 
&c.  Soon  after  appeared  his  German  version  of 
the  Books  of  Moses,  the  first  chapters  of  which 
were  accompanied  by  a  commentary  of  his  own, 
which  was  afterwards  continued  by  two  learned 
brethren ;  one  of  these  was  the  poet  Hartwig 
Wessely,  of  whom  we  shall  speak  hereafter. 
The  preface  to  this  work,  in  which,  with  an  in- 
genuity of  mind  that  was  his  peculiar  gift,  he 
had  been  able  to  combine  the  views  of  a 


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548  MOSES  MENDELSOHN 

philosopher  with  respect  for  the  strictest  pro« 
fession  of  Judaism,  gained  for  him  the  appro- 
bation of  some  of  the  most  rigid  teachers 
of  the  synagogue,  and,  among  others,  Rabbi 
Saul,  of  Frankfort.  The  work  itself  soon 
found  its  way  into  the  principal  synagogues 
and  schools  of  Germany.  The  knowledge  of 
German  made,  by  this  means,  unheard  of 
advance  among  the  Jewish  youth.  Mendelsohn, 
thus  encoursiged,  produced  afterwards,  with 
increasing  success,  a  version  of  the  Psalms  and 
the  Song  of  Solomon,  which  are  considered 
classical. 

It  was  in  this  especially  that  the  philosopher 
keptup  the  striking  resemblance  toMaimonides, 
his  celebrated  predecessor  and  model.  Both, 
under  the  outward  forms  of  Rabbinical  Judaism, 
desired  to  give  an  entirely  new  direction  to 
the  religion  of  the  Jews,  to  reform  it,  to 
develop  it;  while  both  equally  failed  to 
recognise  how  the  true  perfection  of  revealed 
Judaism  is  to  be  found  in  true  Christfanity. 
Mendelsohn  at  last  seized  an  opportunity  of 
declaring  more  clearly  (though  always  with  a 
degree  of  vagueness)  his  own  ideas  on  religion 
in  answer  to  the  then  well-known  treatise  of  the 
Councillor  Dohm,  ^^  On  the  Amendment  of  the 
political  Position  of  the  Jews."   The  statesman 


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AMD   HIS   OOTEMFORA&IES.  549 

in  his  work  had  started  from  the  principle 
that  every  amendment  must  proceed  from 
liberty  arid  equality  of  rights  i^  society  be* 
stowed  upon  the  Jew, — from  an  entire  reform 
in  the  systems  of  instruction  and  education, — 
from  free  admission  to  the  practice  of  all 
arts  and  sciences,  and  even  a  participation 
in  some  posts  and  offices  of  State, — the 
authority  of  the  synagogue  over  its  members 
to  be  maintained,  in  cases  of  religious  differ- 
ence, by  the  power  of  casting  them  out  of  its 
bosom  for  a  time  or  entirely.  It  was  precisely 
on  this  last  ppint,  concerning  the  authority  of 
the  synagogue  as  acknowledged  by  Dohm, 
that  Mendelsohn  fired  up.  He  would  not 
allow  the  synagogue,  or  any  other  religious 
community,  to  impose  any  restriction  whatever 
on  the  rights  of  thinking  and  teaching. 

In  the  preface  to  his  German  translation  of 
Menasseh  Ben  Israel's  "  Hope  of  Israel,"  he 
plainly  declared  his  conviction,  "  that  every 
society  had  certainly  the  right  to  exclude  its 
members  when  they  ceased  to  conform  to  the 
principle  of  the  society;  but  that  this  rule 
coTild  not  in  any  way  apply  to  a  religious 
society,  whether  church  or  synagogue,  because 
true  religion  exerts  no  authority  over  ideas  and 
opinions ;  but,  being  all  heart  and  spirit,  only 


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550  MOSES   MENDELSOHN 

desires  to  use  the  power  of  conviction. 
Then,  taming  to  his  brethren  of  Israel,  he 
exhorts  tbem  to  take  from  the  people  among 
whom  they  live  an  example  of  charity,  and  not 
of  hatred  or  intolerance,  and  to  begin  by 
loving  and  bearing  with  one  another,  that  they 
might  themselves  be  loved  and  tolerated  by 
others." 

In  this  remarkable  and  singular  controversy 
of  the  Jewish  philosopher  there  are  two  points 
worthy  of  note.  First,  that  he  could,  while 
holding  such  sentiments,  entirely  conceal  from 
himself  the  influenceof  Christianity  over  hisown 
opinions,  and  believe  himself  in  all  sincerity, 
an  orthodox  rabbinical  Jew,  In  the  second 
place,  it  is  equally  remarkable  that,  during  all 
these,  discussions,  the  Babbins  should  have  kept 
completely  aloof,  and  let  pass  so  decisive  a  de« 
claration  as  that  of  Mendelsohn^  against  all 
maintenance  of  order  and  discipline  in  the 
synagogue. 

A  solution  of  the  latter  point  is  probably  to 
be  found  in  a  certain  consciousness,  on  the  part 
of  the  synagogue,  of  want  of  strength  to  cope 
with  one  of  its  most  influential  members  on  the 
grounds  of  a  social  and  philosophical  question. 
It  must  have  appeared  the  safer  and  more 
prudent  part  to  rest  satisfied  with  the  obedi- 


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AND   HIS   COTEMPOBABIES.  551 

ence  ^hich  Mendelsohn  at  all  times  paid  to  its 
outward  ordinances. ,  Sbon,  however,  it  began 
to  experience  the  ejects  produced  by  his  in- 
fluence and  writings  on  a  large  portion  of  the 
German  Jews,  amoi^g  whom,  from  that  time 
forward,  all  respect  for   the  Talmud   began 
gradually  to  declinCt      As   for    Mendelsohn 
himself,  the  contrast  between  his  practice  as  a 
rabbinical  Jew   and  the  principles  he  advo* 
catpd  in  the  preface  we  have  just  quoted, 
could  not  fiiil  of  exciting  the  attention  both  of 
£h.e  Christian  and  Jewish  biographers  of  this 
illustrious  man.     In  a  ^^  Letter  to  Mendel- 
sohn"* the  inconsistency  was  openly  noticed 
between    his     conscientious    attachment     to 
Rabbinism  and  his  opinions  on  the  subject  of 
religion,  so  evidently  borrowed  from  Christi- 
anity.     To    this  attack    he  replied    by  his 
"  Jerusalem ;  or,  a  Treatise  on  Authority  in 
matters  of  Beligion  and  Judaism ; "  a  work 
written  with  remarkable  talent,  but  which,  on 
the   whole,   served  to  show  forth  yet  more 
forcibly    the    incompatibility    of  his    theory 
and  practice,    and  even   of   his  own  theory 
with  itself.     According  to  his  view,  religion 
consists  in  the  disposition  of  the  heart, — and 
that  is  not  under  the  control  of  any  power  or 
discipline  exercised  by  a  church  or  synagogue. 
•  Jost  IX.  76—79. 


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552  MOSES   MENDELSOHN 

At  the  same  time  he  asserts,  that  the  law 
of  Moses  (the  law  equally  of  Church  and 
State)  was  not  a  law  of  faith,  but  of  statutes 
and  prohibitions.  How,  then,  could  he  deny 
to  the  synagogue  the  right  of  condemning  and 
excluding  those  who  should  refuse  to  observe 
that  law  which  he  himself,  both  in  theory 
and  practice,  acknowledged  to  be  binding 
upon  every  Israelite!  The  most  zealous 
admirers  of  Mendelsohn  have  had  great  diffi* 
culty  in  clearing  him  from  this  inoonsistency, 
and  have  even  been  compelled  to  acknowledge 
it,  at  the  same  time  excusing  him,  by  sup- 
posing that  he  wished  to  prove  by  his  own 
conduct,  that  the  most  complete  liberty  of 
opinion  might  be  allied  to  the  strictest  ob- 
servance of  the  law,  of  which,  however,  he 
wished  the  spiritual  interpretation  to  be  left 
to  the  individual  conviction  of  every  Jew. 
The  true  key  to  this  apparent  contradiction 
is,  perhaps,  simply  this ;  inwardly,  in  the  soul 
of  Mendelsohn,  the  attractive  force  of  Chris* 
tian  principle  exercised  its  power,  and  against 
this  attractive  force  he  thought  to  find  a 
defence  in  the  strict  observance  of  rabbinical 
precepts,  having,  however,  never  attained  to 
the  very  essence  of  the  Christian  religion, 
which  is  not  to  be  found  in  the  doctrine  alone, 
but  in  the  person  of  Jesus  Christ. 


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AND   HIS   COTEMPOR ARIES.  553 

Whatever  may  have  caused  the  inward 
struggles  of  the  philosopher  of  Berlin,  it  is 
certain  that,  without  wishing  or  suspecting  it, 
Mendelsohn — as,  six  centuries  earlier,  Mai- 
monides — stirred  up  among  his  coreligionists 
a  feeling  of  void  that  nothing  hut  the  Gospel 
of  the  Son  of  God  could  satisfy,  which, 
through  the  mercy  of  the  God  of  Abraham, 
was  made  effectual  to  many  after  the  time  of 
Mendelsohn. 

It  is  worthy  of  remark,  that,  among  Jewish 
confessors  that  Jesus  is  the  Christ,  in  later 
years  we  find  a  grandson  of  this  celebrated 
philosopher,  the  highly-famed  musical  com* 
poser,  Mendelsohn  Bartholdy,  who  not  only 
devoted  his  art  to  set  forth  some  of  the  sub- 
limest  passages  in  the  Old  and  New  Testa- 
ments, but  also  felt  in  his  own  soul  the  power 
of  that  Christian  &ith  of  which  he  had  made 
open  profession.  Moses  Mendelsohn  died  at 
the  beginning  of  the  year  1786,  while  em- 
ployed in  a  controversy  in  which  he  was 
engaged,  together  with  Jacobi,  against  Les- 
sing,  the  friend  of  the  latter,  and  the  doc-, 
trines  of  Spinoza,  which  he  was  suspected  of 
holding.  He  was  universally  regretted,  as 
well  by  his  own  nation  as  by  the  Germans. 
To  the  liberal  party  among  the  Jews  of  that 

B  B 


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554  MOSES   MENDELSOHN, 

country,  Mendelsohn  had  opened,  as  it  were, 
a  new  field,  both  in  religion  and  literature. 
The  German  Jews,  however,  at  that  time 
could  boast  of  other  men  of  science  and  talent 
besides  Mendelsohn,  who  also  exercised  con- 
siderable influence  over  the  succeeding  gene- 
ration. Among  the  most  interesting  of  his 
brethren  and  cotemporaries,  we  may  mention 
his  three  intimate  friends,  Hartwig  Wessely, 
Isaac  Euchel,  and  David  Friedlander.  Hart- 
wig  Wessely  was  the  grandson  of  a  certain 
Babbi  Joseph,  who,  having  escaped  from  the 
massacre  by  the  Cossacks  at  Bar,  in  Fodolia, 
in  1648,  came  to  establish  himself  at  Amster- 
dam, and,  as  it  appears,  connected  himself 
with  the  Portuguese  synagogue  of  that  city. 
One  of  his  sons,  named  Moses,  settled  at 
Wesel  (from  which  place  they  took  the  sur- 
name of  Wessely),  and  afterwards  at  Gluck- 
stadt,  where  he  established  a  manufactory  of 
fire-arms.  This  was  the  father  of  the  learned 
and  talented  Hartwig  who  early  acquired 
several  modem  languages,  but  excdled  chiefl^y 
in  the  knowledge  of  tocient  Hebrew.  From 
his  earliest  childhood  he  spared  no  pains 
either  in  the  attainment  or  the  diffusion  of 
this  branch  of  learning.  Placed  in  Amster- 
dam as  clerk  in  a  house  of  business,    he 


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AND   HIS   COTEMPOBABIES.  555 

employed  his  leisure  hours  in  collecting  his 
"  Proverbs  of  the  Fathers,"  and  in  composing 
his  valuable  work  on  "  Hebrew  Synonyms," 
now  well  known  and  highly  appreciated  by 
the  Jews  of  Germany,  Poland,  and  Italy. 
He  published  the  first  edition  at  his  own 
expense.  At  Hamburgh,  also,  where  he  mar- 
ried in  1770,  he  passed  the  day  in  labouring 
for  a  subsistence,  and  the  night  at  his  favourite 
studies.  He  went  to  Berlin  after  the  year 
1775,  and  there  wrote  his  Hebrew  translation 
of  the  Book  of  Wisdom.  Soon  after,  he  was 
for  a  time  reduced  to  complete  poverty  by 
misfortunes  in  business,  from  which,  however, 
he  was  shortly  rescued  by  his  literary  activity, 
and  the  faithful  kindness  of  his  friends.  It 
was  at  this  time  that  he  formed  an  intimate 
acquaintance  with  Mendelsohn,  with  whom, 
as  we  have  before  seen,  he  afterwards  laboured 
in  concert ;  he  also  shared  in  the  same  strict 
observance  of  the  rabbinical  precepts  (though 
in  an  entirely  different  spirit  from  that  of  the 
philosophers),  being  actuated  by  an  enthusi- 
astic and  heartfelt  conviction  of  the  binding 
authority  of  tradition.  His  good  understand- 
ing with  the  Babbins  was,  nevertheless,  for  a 
time  interrupted,  because,  when  the  Edict 
of  Toleration  had  been  promulgated  by  the 
B  B  2 


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556  HOSES   MENDELBOHN, 

Emperor  Joseph,  he  published  an  address  to 
the  synagogue  of  Trieste,  in  which  he  urged 
the  necessity  of  a  reformation  in  a  system  of 
early  instruction,  by  which  the  study  of  the 
Talmud  should  be  deferred  to  a  riper  age. 
The  Rabbins  of  Poland,  in  consequence,  at* 
tacked  and  anathematized  him  with  vehe- 
mence ;  those  of  Trieste,  Venice,  Ferrara,  and 
Reggio,  on  the  contrary,  supported  him,  de» 
daring  that  the  opinion  he  had  expressed  was 
for  the  advantage  of  the  synagogue.  From 
that  time  forward  he  more  than  ever  per- 
sisted, both  in  observing  strictly  Jewish  cus- 
toms and  in  making  strenuous  efforts  for  the 
enlightenment  and  reformation  of  his  people. 
He  afterwards  especially  distinguished  himself 
as  a  Hebrew  poet,  both  by  his  lyrical  pieces, 
his  elegy  on  the  death  of  Prince  Leopold  of 
Brunswick  Wolfenbuttel,  his  panegyric  on 
the  Emperor  Joseph,  and  his  heroic  poem  of 
Moses,  of  which'only  the  four  first  parts  were 
published  during  his  lifetime.  He  died  at 
Hamburgh,  in  1808,  in  the  eightieth  year  of 
his  age.  Hartwig  Wessely  may  be  considered 
the  founder  of  modem  Hebrew  literature,  in 
the  same  way  as  Mendelsohn  was  of  German 
literature  amoug  the  Jews  of  his  age  and 
country. 


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AND   HIS   C0TEBfFORARI£9.  657 

Isaac  Euchel,  who  was  bom  in  1756,  and 
ranks  far  higher  than  Mendelsohn,  and  eqnally 
high  with  Hartwig,  in  Oriental  literature, 
was  the  first  to  undertake  a  translation  of  the 
Jewish  Liturgy  into  German.  This  transla^ 
tion,  though  not  well  executed,  was  never* 
theless  very  useftd,  as  an  eltample  for  others. 
Euchel  wrote  a  translation  and  Commentary 
on  the  Proverbs  of  Solomon  for  the  use  of  the 
Jews ;  he  also  wrote  in  Hebrew  a  biography 
of  his  friend,  Moses  Mendelsohn.  Like  Hart« 
wig,  this  clever  and  talented  author  was 
obliged  to  support  himself  by  trade  till  the 
time  of  his  death,  which  happened  in  the 
fourth  year  of  this  Century. 

David  Friedlander  was  ^  the  third  of  those 
friends  of  Mendelsohn  who,  by  their  inde- 
fatigable activity  and  valuable  wor^s,  acquired 
a  name  among  their  brethren  and  cotempo* 
raries  in  Germany.  He  was  bom  at  Konigs* 
burg,  in  1750,  and  settled,  in  1780,  at  Berlin, 
where  he  married  a  young  lady  of  the  highly 
respected  &mily  of  Itzig,  and  lived  in  society 
with  the  most  distinguished  persons  of  his 
age,  both  Christians  and  Jews,  without  ever 
losing  sight  of  the  main  object  he  had  in 
view,  viz.,  to  seek  the  improvement  of  his 
nation  by  every  means  in  his  power.    With 


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558  M08E8   MENDELSOHN. 

this  view,  he  translated  several  German 
classical  works  into  Hebrew,  and  several  por- 
tions of  the  Old  Testament  into  German.  He 
also  made  a  translation  of  the  synagogue 
prayers  in  a  better  style  than  that  of  Eachel, 
and  by  the  establishment  of  schools  for  the 
poor  he  conferred  a  benefit  which  long  sur- 
vived him. 

Always  active,  sometimes  too  precipitate  in 
his  zeal  for  a  true  and  thorough  reform  of  the 
Judaism  of  his  age,  he  wrote  (in  1790)  his 
^^  Letters  from  Jewish  Householders  to  the 
Provost  Teller,"  which  elicited  several  replies 
from  Christians,  but  mostly  of  the  Neologian 
school.  The  religion  of  Friedlander  liimself 
was  far  removed  from  any  tendency  to  Neology. 
Though  he  had  opposed  with  vigour  various 
prejudices  and  abuses  among  his  own  people^ 
he  was,  nevertheless,  a  rigid  Talmudist  both 
in  his  doctrine  and  practice.  No  one  could 
regret  more  than  he  did  the  reaction  which 
had  already  begun  to  manifest  itself,  and  to 
lead  many  of  those  Jews  who  had  cast  aside 
the  fetters  of  Rabbinism  into  die  opposite 
extreme  of  worldliness,  frivolity,  and  even 
complete  Infidelity.  To  an  advanced  old  age 
(for  Friedlander  was  still  alive  in  1828),  he 
ceased  not  to  labour  in  the  cause  of  his  people 


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CONVERSIONS   AMONG   THE   JEWS,    ETC.      559 

in  the  different  relations  in  which  he  was 
placed,  or  to  which  he  had  heen  called. 
Other  cotemporaries  of  Mendelsohn  among 
the  German  Jews  deserve  some  mention  here : 
among  them  were,  the  editors  of  a  Hebrew 
journal,  in  1783,  in  which  Samuel  and  Dr. 
Michel  Friedlander,  both  relatives  of  David, 
were  joint  labourers;  Joel  Lowe,  afterwards 
Professor  at  the  Jewish  Wilhelm  School,  of 
Breslau ;  Isaac  Satrow ;  and  Jehuda  Lob  Ben 
Seff,  known  by  their  Hebrew  grammatical 
works,  and  others  of  the  same  kind.  Dr. 
Marcus  Herz,  celebrated  for  bis  knowledge  of 
medicine  and  natural  philosophy,  had  already 
distinguished  himself  in  his  youth  by  a  dissertap 
tion  on  speculative  philosophy  in  imitation  of 
Kant.  Dr.  Bloch  was  a  naturalist,  and  author  of 
a  valuable  work  on  ichthyology ;  his  specimens 
of  natural  history  were  afterwards  placed  in 
the  museum  of  Berlin.  Salomon  Maimon, 
also  a  philosopher,  but  especially  learned  in 
mathematics  and  natural  history;  he  was  a 
decided  adversary  of  Babbinism,  and  both  in 
word  and  deed  zealously  advocated  the  intro- 
duction of  a  new  system  of  instruction  for 
Jewish  youth. 

Conversions  from    the   synagogue    to   the 
faith  of  the  Church  had  occurred  from  time 


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560  C0N7EBBI0NS   AMONG   THE 

to  time  during  the  period  between  the  Refor- 
mation and  the  commencement  of  the  revolu- 
tionary era,  though  in  number  and  [import^ 
ance  they  will  bear  no  comparison  with  what 
we  have  related  in  the  history  of  the  Sephar- 
dim  during  the  Middle  Ages.  We  have 
already  mentioned  several  remarkable  con- 
versions after  the  expulsion  of  the  Jews 
from  Spain.  It  is  a  curious  fact,  that  in 
the  Netheriands  some  members  of  Judeo- 
Spanish  families  continued  in  secret  Boman 
Catholics,  in  the  same  manner  as  in  Spain 
many  had  held  the  Jewish  religion  under  an 
outward  conformity  with  the  Roman  Catholic 
Church.  These  concealed  Roman  Catholics 
took  the  earliest  opportunity  of  returning  to 
Spain,  or  settling  in  Belgium.  In  Italy, 
during  the  course  of  the  sixteenth  century,  we 
find  among  the  distinguished  men  of  learning 
Paulo  Ricci,  formerly  a  Rabbi  and  physician, 
Jerome  of  Bologna,  and  Aquilino.  Conver- 
sions to  the  Evangelical  or  Reformed  Churches 
were  most  frequent  in  Germany,  though  in 
HoUand  also  we  find  some  interesting  ex» 
amples  during  the  seventeenth,  and  especially 
the  eighteenth,  century.  Two  Israelites,  Aaron 
Margalitz,  and  Joseph  Jacob,  converted  to 
Christianity,  caused  their  former  coreligionists 


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JEWS    BEFORE   1789.  561 

much  trouble,  by  bringing  forwatd  an  accnsa^ 
Hon  of  blasphemy  against  many  of  their  books, 
and,  among  others,  the  Jewish  Liturgy.  Even 
at  that  time,  as  well  as  during  the  Middle 
Ages,  the  Jew,  when  converted  to  the  Chris- 
tian fidth,  ranged  himself  rather  as  the  ad- 
versary of  his  former  coreligionists,  than  in 
the  spirit  of  the  Apostle  Paul.  (Rom*  xi.  1.) 
Among  the  conversions  to  the  Gospel,  of 
which  the  results  have  been  most  cheering, 
was  (in  1695)  that  of  the  Imperial  Physician, 
Paulus  Werdnerus,  whose  public  defence  of 
Christianity  must  have  brought  conviction  to 
many  Jews.  About  a  century  later,  a  Rabbi, 
named  Frederic  Ragstadt  of  Weile,  was  bap- 
tized at  Cleves  in  the  faith  of  the  Reformed 
Church,  and  his  conversion  and  public  con* 
fession  of  the  Divine  truths  of  Christianity 
were  not  less  remarkable.  Shortly  after  his 
baptism,  when  scarcely  twenty-three  years  of 
age,  he  published  a  Latin  apology  (1671),  in 
which  the  name  of  the  Messiah,  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  was  gloriously  maintained 
against  the  abominable  Nizzochen  of  the 
famous  Rabbi  Lipmann.  Weile,  who  was 
afterwards  pastor  of  a  Reformed  Church  at 
Spyk,  near  Gorcum,  in  South  Holland,  pub- 
lished a  sermon  in  the  language  of  the 
B  B  3 


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562  POSITION   OF  THE   JEWS 

country,  upon  occasion  of  the  baptism  of  a 
distinguished  Portuguese  Jew^  named  Aaron 
Hodrigues  Faro,  in  1686.  Two  brothers  of  the 
family  of  Da  Fonseca  were  soon  after  converts 
from  the  sameFortuguesecommunity  of  Amster- 
dam, and  they  also  published  in  writing  their 
reasons  for  a  change  of  faith.  Thus  was  there 
at  all  times  an  accomplishment  of  the  word  of 
St.  Paul :  ^^  Even  so  then  at  this  present  time 
also  there  is  a  remnant  according  to  the  elec- 
tion of  grace."  (Rom.  xi.  5.)  The  period 
upon  which  we  shall  now  enter  has  produced 
&r  more  numerous  and  striking  instances  of 
the  fulfilment  of  this  Divine  declaration. 

To  the  Jews  also,  as  well  as  to  all  the  naticma 
of  Europe,  was  the  year  1789  the  commence* 
ment  of  an  entirely  new  epoch ;  an  epoch  of 
improvement  according  to  the  views  of  one 
party,  and  of  revolution  and  anarchy  according 
to  those  of  another,  but  certainly  in  the  eyes 
of  the  Christian  a  period  of  striking  signs  and 
movements,  in  which  he  cannot  fail  to  rec<^^ 
nise  at  once  the  hand  of  God,  and  the  ap* 
proach  of  that  day  which  He  has  foretold.  In 
the  period  of  sixty  years  now  unfolded  before 
us,  the  social  position  of  the  synagogue,  but 
more  especially  its  internal  organization,  under- 
went a  more  essential  and  significant  change 


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i 


FROM  1789  TO  1848.  663 

than  any  that  had  taken  place  since  the  first 
centuries  of  their  dispersion  after  the  fall  of 
Jerusalem.  Behold!  in  this  new  period,  the 
dispersed  of  Israel  rising  to  cast  off  their  own 
ancient  nationality,  and  desiring  in  all  respects 
(except  abandoning  the  religion  of  their  am* 
cestors)  to  be  reckoned  fellow-countrymM 
with  the  Christian  nations,  and  thus  possess  a 
country  of  their  own  without  the  borders  of 
Palestine.  The  spirit  of  the  age  (under  the 
guidance  of  Him  who  maketh  the  good  and 
evil  of  man  to  work  together  in  his  service) 
effected  this  movement,  in  concert  with  the 
theories  of  the  day  conQeming  the  origin  of 
society  and  states,  the  rights  of  men  and 
citizens,  the  relation  between  sovereigns  and 
their  people;  principles  concerning  which  a 
combat  began  in  the  eighteenth  century,  and 
has  continued  to  develop  itself  on  all  sides 
during  our  nineteenth  century.  Two  of  the 
great  European  countries  are  experiencing,  at 
this  very  moment,  the  following  out  of  these 
principles,  and  the  effects  of  this  combat  in  a 
different  and  characteristic  form.  France  first 
gave  an  example  of  the  practical  application 
of  these  new  ideas  by  violence,  and  she  has 
thus  diffused  them  both  at  home  and  abroad. 
In  Germany  the  same  principles  were  admitted. 


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^ 


564  POSITION   OF  t&£  JEWS 

bat  not  widiout  some  resistance;  in  that 
coontry  eq^edally,  a  long  struggle  was  pre^ 
paring  between  the  institutions  and  the  results 
of  manjf  centuries^  and  the  claims  of  one  single 
century — our  own.  The  contest  between  his* 
tory  and  revolution,  between  the  ancient  order 
of  things  and  the  new  lights,  concerning  the 
Jews  and  their  position  in  society,  also  began 
with  the  year  1789  in  France.  Two  years 
before,  the  Academy  of  Metz  had  convened  an 
assembly  to  consider  the  best  means  of  making 
the  Jews  more  useful  and  happier.  One  of 
the  prize  essays  on  that  occasion  was  written 
by  the  Abb6  Gr^goire;  another  essay  had 
been  presented  by  a  Foli^  Jew  of  great  talent, 
named  Salkind  Horwitz,  a  successor  of  Fer- 
eira  as  Librarian  of  the  Eojral  Library  at 
Faris.  The  revolution  which  shortly  after 
took  place  triumphantly  decided  the  question, 
as  to  what  position  in  society  the  Jews  should 
fill.  The  Jews  of  Luneville  and  Sarquemines 
first  presented  an  address  to  the  National 
Assembly,  requesting  to  be  put  in  possession 
of  those  rights  which  the  new  state  of  things 
had  secured  to  them.  The  Fortuguese  Jews 
of  Bordeaux,  who  had  already  taken  an  active 
part  in  the  movement  in  that  town,  also 
requested,  through  the  intervention  of  6r6- 


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FBOM  1789  TO  1848.  565 

goire,  in  behalf  of  themselves  and  brethren  in 
the  countries  of  the  Rhine,  an  application  of 
the  new  principles  of  liberty,  fraternity,  and 
Equality.  The  Jews  of  Lorraine  sued  for  the 
same  act  of  justice,  not  without  making  bitter 
complaints  of  the  treatment  they  had  endured 
for  many  centuries;  they  only  desired  the 
maintenance  of  their  ancient  synagogue,  and 
a  sufficient  degree  of  judicial  power  to  pre- 
serve it  from  irreligion.  Those  of  Paris,  on 
the  contrary,  wished  for  the  suppression  of  all 
jurisdiction  in  the  synagogue.  In  the  year 
1791  complete  equality  was  proclaimed  for  all 
Jews,  without  exception  or  distinction,  who 
would  accept  the  rights  of  a  French  citizen, 
upon  condition  of  fulfilling  the  duties  attached 
to  them. 

The  reign  of  Napoleon  confirmed  what  the 
revolution  had  effected  in  favour  of  the  Jews ; 
and  the  liberal  party  among  them  in  France 
has  always  testified  its  gratitude  to  that  em- 
peror. He  only  showed  severity  towards  the 
Jewish'  population  in  the  provinces  of  the 
Rhine,  where  they  had  long  been  in  ill  repute 
on  account  of  their  usury.  An  Imperial  edict 
was  in  consequence  published  in  1808,  im- 
posing on  every  Jewish  creditor  who  should 
go  to  law  against  a  debtor  the  obligation  to^ 


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566  POSITION   OF  THE   JEWS 

procure  a  certificate  of  good  conduct,  attested 
by  the  local  authorities,  declaring  that  the  said 
creditor  was  not  in  the  practice  of  taking 
usury,  or  pursuing  any  disgraceful  traffic 
The  Imperial  Government,  conscious  of  the 
severity  of  a  measure  by  which  it  hoped  in  a 
short  time  to  do  away  with  this  abuse^  limited 
the  continuance  of  the  decree  to  a  period  of 
ten  years.  This  law  was  revoked  in  France 
directly  after  the  restoration  of  the  Bourbon 
family ;  in  the  Rhenish  provinces,  which  were 
restored  to  Germany,  it  remained  in  force  till 
the  end  of  the  ten  years.  In  some  of  the 
provinces,  such  as  Rhenish  Bavaria  and 
Rhenish  Prussia,  it  was  even  continued  and 
strictly  enforced  after  that  period.  Napoleon, 
desiring,  as  we  have  said,  to  confirm  what 
the  Revolution  of  1789  had  effected  for 
the  Jews,  convoked  at  Paris  a  large  assem- 
blage (Sanhedrim,  or  Synedrion)  of  Israelites, 
distinguished  either  by  their  learning  or 
their  rank.  His  object  in  forming  this 
association  was  the  establishment  of  certain 
principles  among  the  Jews  themselves,  to  lay 
the  foundation,  both  of  a  new  internal  organi- 
zation  of  the  synagogue,  and  for  the  advance- 
ment and  regulation  of  the  new  rights  acquired 
by  the  Jews  in  all  the  different  countries  under 


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FEOM  1789  TO  1848.  667 

the  dominion,  or  immediate  influence  of  the  Em- 
peror. It  was  on  the  28th  of  July,  in  the  year 
1806,  (by  a  mistake,  upon  the  Sabbath-day,) 
that  the  French  Sanhedrim  began  to  sit,  and 
nominated  as  President,  Abraham  Furtado,  a 
distmguished  Portuguese,  of  Bordeaux.  Among 
the  110  members  of  this  Assembly,  we  find 
many  who,  in  a  succeeding  generation,  and  in 
very  different  circumstances,  have  acquired  a 
reputation  throughout  Europe;  among  them 
were  Bodrigues,  Avigdor,  Cerf-Beer,  Cologna, 
Cremieux  Anschel,  Goudchaux,  and  others. 
This  assembly  being  constituted  by  order  of 
the  Emperor,  three  Imperial  Commissioners, 
Mol6,  Portalis,  and  Pasquier,  presented  them- 
selves during  the  sitting  with  twelve  questions, 
to  answer  which  was  to  be  the  first  and  prin- 
cipal occupation  of  the  Sanhedrim.  These 
questions  related  principally  to  the  Jewish  laws 
concerning  marriage  and  polygamy — to  their 
connexions  with  the  countries  in  which  they 
were  settled,  and  especially  with  the  French 
nation — to  the  subject  of  usury,  both  among 
the  Jews  themselves,  and  between  Jews  and 
Gentiles.  After  mature  deliberation,  the  As- 
sembly replied — that  the  Jew,  though  by 
the  law  of  Moses  he  had  permission  to  take 
several  wives,  was  not  allowed  to  make  use  of 


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568  POSITION   OF  THE   JEWS 

this  liberty  in  the  West,  an  obligation  to  take 
only  one  wife  having  been  im^sed  upon  them  in 
the  year  1030,  by  an  Assembly,  over  which 
Rabbi  Gerson,  of  Worms,  presided, — that  no 
kind  of  divorce  was  allowed  among  the  Jews, 
except  what  was  authorized  by  the  law  of  the 
country,  and  pronounced  judicially, — that  the 
Jews  recognised  not  only  Frenchmen,  but  all 
men  as  their  brethren,  vdthout  making  any 
difference  between  the  Jew  and  him  who  was 
not  a  Jew,  from  whom  they  differed  not  as  a 
nation,  but  by  their  religion  only.  With  respect 
to  Ftance,    the  Jew,   who  had   there    been 
rescued    from    oppression,    and   allowed    an 
equality  of  social  rights,   looked  upon  that 
country  as  more  especially  his  oum,  of  which 
he  had  already  given  manifest  proof  on  the 
field  of  battle ; — ^that  since  the  revolution  no 
kind  of  jurisdiction  in  France  or  Italy  could 
control  that  of  the  Eabbins ; — that  the  Jewish 
law  forbade  all  taking  of  usury,  either  from 
strangers  or  their  own  brethren;    that  the 
commandment  to  lend  to  his  Israelitish  bro- 
ther, without  interest,  was  a  precept  of  charity, 
which  by  no  means  detracted  from  the  justice, 
or  the  necessity  of  a  lawful  interest  in  matters 
of  commerce ;  finally,  that  the  Jewish  religion 
declared,  without  any  distinction  of  persons. 


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FROM  1789  TO  1849.  569 

that  usary  was  disgraceful  and  infamous ;  but 
that  the  use  of  interest  in  mercantile  affairs, 
without  reference  to  religion  or  country,  was 
legal,— to  lend,  without  interest,  out  of  pure 
charity  towards  all  men,  was  praiseworthy. 

The  Imperial  Government  declared  itself  per- 
fectly satisfied  with  the  answers  of  the  Sanhe* 
drim.  The  spirit  which  dictated  its  replies  is 
manifest ;  for  while  maintaining  as  a  principal 
point  the  authority  of  the  Mosaic  law,  they 
gave  a  plausible  interpretation  of  the  Talmudic 
principle ;  on  the  whole,  it  was  evident  that 
the  decision  of  the  Sanhedrim  tended  to  set 
aside  Jewish  nationality;  or,  at  least,  to  render 
it  entirely  subservient  to  the  new  civil  and 
political  rights.  Since  then,  the  relations  be« 
tween  the  Jews  of  France,  and  the  other 
inhabitants  of  the  country,  have  remained 
fixed  upon  these  new  principles.  A  second 
Sanhedrim  was  meanwhile  convoked  by  the 
Emperor  in  the  following  year  of  1807,  to 
which  Jews  from  other  countries,  and  espe- 
cially from  Holland,  were  invited,  that  the 
principles  laid  down  by  the  first  Sanhedrim 
might  acquire  the  force  of  law  among  the 
Jews  in  all  parts.  The  second  meeting,  called 
the  Great  Sanhedrim,  to  which  was  committed 
the  forming  of  a  plan  of  organization  for  all 


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570  POSITION    OF   THE    JEWS 

the  synagogues  in  the  empire,  took  ^ace  the 
following  year,  under  the  Presidentship  of 
Babbi  Segre,  of  Vercelli.  Beyond  the  borders 
of  France,  the  principles  set  forth  by  the  San- 
hedrim found  but  a  faint  echo,  and  soon  met 
with  positive  opposition,  especially  in  Grer- 
many  and  Holland..  In  France  the  Jews  have 
retained  their  social  and  political  equality, 
notwithstanding  the  restoration  of  the  Bour- 
bons, and  the  different  Govelrnments  which 
have  since  succeeded.  The  Jews  of  the  so- 
called  Liberal  party  had  before  long  good 
reason  to  congratulate  themselves  on  the  con- 
sequences of  these  new  institutions  among  their 
brethren  and  coreligionists.  According  to  the 
statistic  account  given  by  the  great  Consistory 
at  Paris,  dated  two  years  after  the  assembling  of 
the  Sanhedrim,  out  of  a  Jewish  population  of 
eighty  thousand  souls,  there  were  in  France  one 
thousand  two  hundred  and  thirty-two  landed 
proprietors,  not  including  the  owners  of  houses 
in  towns,  two  thousand  three  hundred  and 
sixty  workmen,  two  hundred  and  fifty  manu- 
£Eu;turers,  seven  hundred  and  ninety-seven 
military  men,  among  whom  .were  officers  of 
all  ranks,  and  even  as  some  say,  Marshals 
of  the  empire,  who  were  Jews,  at  least  by 
birth.     In  1830,  the  Minister  of  Public  Wor- 


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FBOM  1789  TO  1848.  671 

ship,  Merilhoa,  declared,  as  the  result  of  his 
experience,  forty  years  after  the  emancipation 
of  this  before  oppressed  people,  '^  that  in  the 
offices  of  State,  under  the  French  banner,  in 
arts,  sciences,  and  manufactures  they  had, 
during  the  quarter  of  a  century,  given  ample 
refutation  to  the  calumnies  of  their  oppressors." 
We  certainly  cannot  fail  to  acknowledge  that 
the  emancipation  of  the  Jews  in  France  was 
conducted  on  the  most  liberal  scale,  and  car* 
ried  out  in  the  most  complete  manner ;  but,  on 
the  other  hand,  we  cannot  shut  our  eyes  to  the 
fact,  that,  in  that  country,  not  only  the  nation- 
ality, but  also  the  religious  principle  of  the 
Jew,  has  been  swallowed  up  in  the  feelings 
and  the  movements  of  the  age.  From  that 
want  of  religion  which  has  unhappily  formed 
a  sad  peculiarity  of  France  in  our  days,  the 
Jew  in  that  country  was  best  able  to  become  a 
good  Frenchman,  because  nowhere  else  could 
he  so  entirely  cast  aside  the  recollections  and 
the  religion  of  his  fathers.  Yet,  even  at  the 
present  time,  in  France,  discussions  are  entered 
into  upon  the  reformation  and  amendment  of 
the  form  of  worship,  and  concerning  the  rela- 
tive merits  of  Hebrew,  and  the  language  of 
the  country  for  the  liturgy  of  the  synagogue. 
In  France,  as  well  as  Germany,  theorists  have 


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572  POSITION   OF   THE   JEWS 

arisen,  who  have  pretended  to  build  upon  the 
Mosaic  code  a  new  and  universal  i^ligion, 
fitted  to  take  the  place  of  Christianity.*  As  for 
conversions  to  Christianity,  but  few  have  been 
made  publicly  known,  though  doubtless  the 
Church  of  Rome  has  made  proselytes  of  more 
or  less  note  among  the  Jews  of  France, — to 
the  Protestant  Church  there  have  been  but 
few. 

The  revolution  introduced  by  the  French 
armies  into  the  Republic  of  the  Netherlands 
(1795),  has  also  had  the  efiect  of  producing  by 
degrees  a  complete  emancipation  of  the  Jews. 
This  emancipation  was  received  and  estimated 
very  differently  by  the  Jews  of  Holland  than 
by  those  of  France.  The  great  majority  of 
Jewish  synagogues  in  the  Netherlands,  were 
upon  principle  opposed  to  revolutionary  ideas. 
We  have  noticed  in  France  Portuguese  Jews 
placing  themselves  at  the  head  of  a  movement, 
to  obtain  for  their  countrymen  the  benefits  of 
the  new  institutions,  without  exception  or 
restraint.  In  Holland,  on  the  contrary,  with 
some  few  exceptions,  the  Jews  of  Spain  and 
Portugal,  who  were  lovers  of  monarchy  and 
aristocracy  upon  principle,  and  enthusiastically 

*  Of  such  was  the  learned  Parisian,  J.  Salvador,  author 
of  the  **  Histoire  de  la  Domination  Bomaine  en  Judee.** 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  573 

devoted  to  the  House  of  Orange,  cared  not  for 
a  so-called  emancipation,  which  was  as  little 
in  accordance  with  their  political  attachment^ 
as  with  their  religious  opinions.  Even  the 
Jews  of  the  German  and  Polish  synagogues 
of  Holland  were  little  disposed  to  exchange 
their  ancient  Israelitish  nationality,  for  the 
new  nationality  offered  to  them  by  the  revolu- 
tion. Only  a  small  number  of  individuals  of 
both  synagogues,  by  whom  talent  and  energy 
was  unquestionably  displayed  together  with 
strong  attachment  to  the  spirit  of  the  age, 
formed  a  kind  of  political  association  under 
the  name  of  "  Felix  Libertate,"  for  the  ad- 
vancement of  the  new  opinions,  and  the  main-» 
tenance  of  those  rights  which  had  in  conse- 
quence been  granted  to  their  coreligionists. 
This  difference  of  political  opinions  gave  rise 
to  a  schism  in  the  synagogue.  The  partisans 
of  the  new  ideas  assembled  separately  for  their 
religious  worship,  and  founded  a  synagogue, 
naned  Adath  Jeshurun,  which  remained  apart 
from  the  ancient  (German)  synagogue  of  the 
Netherlands  till  the  reign  of  WilUam  I. 

In  the  new  Batavia  Republic,  founded  in 
1795,  the  opinions  of  the  republicans  them- 
selves were  divided  concerning  the  political 
equality  of  the  Jews.    There  were  in  them 


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674  POSITION   OF  THE   JEWS 

many  admirers  of  the  Revolation  of  1789  in 
France,  and  that  of  1795  in  Holland,  who  for 
all  that  did  not  cease  to  look  upon  the  Chris- 
tian religion  as  the  foundation  of  the  state, 
and  who  were  retained  by  scruples  of  conscience 
from  wishing  for  a  complete  naturalization  of 
the  Jews.    Such,  among  others,  was  the  pastor 
and  Professor  Van  Hametsveld,  a  zealous  re- 
publican, but  at  the  same  time,  a  Protestant  by 
conviction,  and  a  friend  of  Israel  for  theGospel's 
sake,   looking  for  the  national  conversion  of 
the  nation  and  their  return  to  the  land  of  their 
Others.     With  these  feelings,   he  gave  his 
opinion  against  conceding  to  the  Jews  a  right 
to  vote  in  the  National  Assembly  of  the  year 
1796.     The  contrary  opinion,  however,  sup- 
ported  by  the  citizen  (afterwards  Great  Pen- 
sionary) Rutger  Jan  Schimmelpenninck,  tri- 
umphed in  the  Assembly ;  and  soon  after,  several 
Jewish  members  were  admitted  to  the  munici- 
pality and  the  tribunal  of  Amsterdam,  as  well 
as  to  the  National  Assembly  at  the  Hague. 
Under  the  Government,  first  of  Louis  Napoleon, 
and  then  of  the  House  of  Orange,  the  Jews  of 
Holland  became  reconciled  by  degrees  to  their 
new  political  rights.     We  have  seen,  however, 
that  no  great  sympathy  was  felt  in  Holland 
with  the  Sanhedrim  of  Paris,  to  which  the 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  675 

Portuguese  synagogue  had  never  deputed  any  of 
its  members.  Only  the  synagogue  of  Adath 
Jeshurun  sent  three  deputies ;  Charles  Asser, 
distinguished  as  a  lawyer  even  after  the  restorap 
tion  of  the  House  of  Orange ;  the  physician 
De  Lemon,  who  was  subsequently  (in  1813) 
confined  in  the  castle  of  Ham,  on  account  of 
a  supposed  conspiracy  against  the  Imperial 
Government;  and  an  eminent  Polish  mathe^ 
matician,  resident  at  Amsterdam,  of  the  name 
of  littwak. 

At  the  return  of  the  House  of  Orange  to 
Holland,  and  under  the  different  constitutions 
of  1813,  1816,  1840,  1848,  the  principle  of 
absolute  equality  among  all  the  inhabitants  in 
the  sight  of  the  law,  and,  therefore,  of  the 
followers  of  Moses,  also  remained  imaltered. 
Consequently,  we  find  to  this  day  Jews  here 
and  there  holding  public  situations  as  governors 
of  towns,  members  of  the  judicial  body,  and 
of  the  National  Representative  Assembly. 
While,  on  one  side,  the  unheard  of  prosperity  of 
the  Portuguese  Jews  has  almost  entirely  dis- 
appeared in  Holland,  the  new  political  position 
of  the  Israelites  has  given  rise  to  a  rapid  pro- 
gress,— not,  howef er,  yet  to  be  compared  with 
that  of  France  and  Germany  during  the  last 
five-and-twenty  years,  but  of  which  the  reality 


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576  POSITION   OF   THE   JEWS 

is  eyinced  by  the  many  that  have  attained  cele- 
brity, principally  among  those  who  belong  to 
what  are  now  cdled  the  Dutch  Jews  (formerly 
German).  This  synagogue  produced,  among 
others,  a  man,  who,  soon  after  the  Bevolution 
of  1795,  gained  great  repute  for  legal  science ; 
we  mean  Dr.  Jonas  Daniel  Meyer,  author  of 
the  *^  Institutions  Judiciaires  des  principaux 
Pays  de  TEurope,"  who  died  in  1808.  The 
same  synagogue  may  also  boast  among  its  phy- 
sicians the  Dr.  Heilbron,  author  of  several 
prize  works,  and  Dr.  Davids,  known  by  his 
zealous  efforts  to  introduce  vaccination. 

In  Belgium,  the  equality  of  all  religions, 
including  that  of  the  Jews,  in  the  sight  of  the 
law,  has  been  maintained  since  the  first  intro- 
duction  of  the  principle,  towards  the  close  of 
the  preceding  century,  till  after  the  separation 
of  that  country  from  Holland  (1830-39), 
thenceforward  to  the  present  time. 

The  new  political  position  of  the  Jews  in 
Europe,  though  constituting  a  fresh  epoch  in 
history,  could  not  entirely  break  down  the 
ancient  barrier  between  the  Jewish  and  Chris- 
tian population.  This  barrier  had  a  far  deeper 
foundation  than  any  purely  human  legislation* 
It  rests  upon  so  wide  a  difference  of  religion, 
that  even  absolute  indifference  on  that  point 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  677 

has  not  been  able  entirely  to  break  through  it. 
It  rests,  also,  on  an  essential  difference  of  race 
and  origin, — a  difference  which,  even  in  these 
levelling  days,  is,  nevertheless,  in  many  ways 
clearly  apparent.  This,  then,  is  the  reason  why 
the  Christian,  resting  upon  the  Word  of  God, 
does  not  look  for  the  disappearance  of  this 
"middle-wall  of  partition,"  or  for  the  amalgama* 
tion  of  Israel  with  the  nations,  but  for  the  union 
of  these  two  distinct  portions  of  mankind  in  the 
&ith  and  under  the  dominion  of  Christ.  Human 
law,  the  law  of  the  revolutions  of  this  century, 
may  undoubtedly  command  and  effect  a  degree 
of  equalization;  but  historical  traditions  do 
not  everywhere  give  way  so  rapidly  and  so 
entirely,  as  we  have  seen,  at  least  apparently^ 
in  France.  In  Germany,  for  example,  the 
entire  emancipation  of  the  Jews,  which  in 
France  had  been  established,  as  it  were,  in  a 
moment,  had  to  struggle  for  more  than  thirty 
years  before;  even  in  connexion  with  the  events 
of  1848,  it  could  secure  a  triumph, — perhaps 
soon  again  to  experience  a  reaction.  We  will 
now  cast  a  glance  over  the  history  of  this 
struggle,  as  bearing  on  the  great  question  of 
Jewish  emancipation  in  Germany. 

Already,   before  the  Revolution  of    1789, 
we  have  noticed  the  measures  taken  by  the 

c  0 


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578  POSITION   OF  THE   JEWS 

principal  states  of  Germany  to  secure  to  tiie 
Jews  some  rights,  and  to  amend  their  con- 
dition. What  the  Emperor  Joseph  II.  under- 
took  in  his  Austrian  dominions,  was  carried  oat 
with  far  more  beneficial  results  in  Prussia  by 
King  Frederic  William  U.,  in  1787.  The 
French  Revolution,  and  the  influence  of  the 
French  Imperial  Government,  considerably 
aided  the  cause  of  the  Jews  throughout  great 
part  of  Germany,  especially  in  Westphalia, 
with  its  capital,  FrankfortK>n»the-Maine,  and 
in  Prussia.  The  reign  of  King  Frederic  Wil- 
liam III.  assured  to  the  Jews,  by  the  edict 
published  March  11,  1812,  the  right  and  title 
of  Prussian  citizens,  with  some  conditions  and 
restrictions. 

When,  with  regard  to  the  Jewish  history  of 
this  period,  we  speak  of  social  and  political 
rights,  we  must,  in  Germany  especially,  care- 
fully discriminate  between  the  concession  of 
such  rights,  and  what  is  understood  by  full  and 
complete  emancipation.  Until  the  year  1848, 
the  political  rights  granted  to  the  Jews  were 
always  so  much  restricted  by  exceptions  and 
provisional  regulations,  that  the  ancient  exclu- 
sion might  well  be  said  to  be  modified,  though 
it  still  continued  to  form  a  part  of  the  consti- 
tution.    On  this  account,  the  Radical  Jews, 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  679 

especially  during  the  last  twenty  years,  have 
desired  a  complete"  emancipation.  From  the 
year  1813  to  1836,  and  again  from  that  time 
to  the  present  day,  we  may  notice  the  equal 
advance  made  by  this  question  of  emancipation 
with  the  history  of  revolutionary  principle  in 
general.  During  this  interval  of  thirty-five 
years,  we  may  clearly  distinguish  two  opposing 
periods ;  the  period  of  reaction  from  the  ideas 
of  the  Revolution  during  the  reign  of  Napoleon 
(an  epoch  which  reached  its  culminating 
point  in  1820) ;  and  the  period  of  revival  for 
all  revolutionary  principles  in  1830,  of  which 
we  are  still,  in  1848-9,  observing  the  subse- 
quent spread  throughout  Europe. 

The  statesmen  who,  in  1814-15,  undertook 
to  reorganize  Germany  after  the  fell  of  the 
empire  of  Napoleon,  laid  it  down  as  a  first 
principle^  that  they  must  not  disturb  the 
existing  order  of  things,  the  state  in  which 
affairs  then  stood  being  the  result  of  the  events 
which  had  occurred  during  the  last  forty  years. 
The  sixteenth  article  of  the  federal  Act  of  the 
Germanic  states,  published  on  the  8th  of 
June,  1815,  imposed  upon  the  Diet  an  obliga* 
tion  to  take  the  necessary  measures  for  ad- 
vancing the  social  improvement  of  the  Jews, 
and  to  obtain  for,  and  secure  to  them,  the 
c  c  2 


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680  POSITION    OF   THE   JEWS 

enjoyment  of  all  civil  rights,  on  condition  of 
their  fulfilling  the  duties  connected  with  them. 
It  is  not  astonishing  that  the  execution  of  this 
project,  met  with  great  obstacles  on  all  sides. 
The  Jews  themselves  did  not,  everywhere, 
appear  prepared  for  the  exercise  of  the  rights 
and  duties  which  their  new  position  entailed. 
The  prejudices  of  the  Christian  population 
against  the  nation  (at  once  ancient  and  yet 
new)  were  deeply  rooted.  Lastly,  the  thirty- 
eight  states  of  the  Germanic  body  were,  in 
many  respects,  very  differently  constituted 
from  one  another;  their  feelings  and  their 
former  legislation  for  the  Jews  frequently  pre^ 
sented  a  striking  contrast.  Great,  for  ex- 
ample, was  the  difference  between  the  social 
position  and  the  moral  development  of  the 
Jews,  in  the  Grand  Duchies  of  Baden  and 
Hesse,  contrasted  with  their  state  in  Hanover, 
where,  to  use  the  words  of  a  historian,  they 
were  rather  under  the  charge  of  the  police 
than  under  that  of  the  Government.  When 
to  this  is  added  the  various  systems  which 
sometimes  obtained  in  the  same  Germanic 
state,  according  to  the  personal  views  of  suc- 
cessive princes  and  ministers,  it  may  be  easily 
understood  that  the  principle  of  equality  of 
rights  for  the  Jews  encountered  in  Germany, 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  581 

for  more  than  thirty  yeats,  difficulties,  to  which 
only  suchi  a  crisis  as  that  of  the  year  1848 
could  possibly  have  put  a  term. 

It  was  not  merely  in  the  monarchical  states 
of  Germany  that  a  reaction  against  the  rights 
acquired  by  the  Jews  during  the  revolution 
first  manifested  itself,  for  as  early  as  1814-15 
the  free  towns  of  Frankfort,  Lubeck,  and 
Bremen,  took  measures  to  restrict  and  revoke 
the  rights  and  privileges  of  their  Jewish  in* 
habitants*  The  Congress  of  Vienna,  being 
informed  of  these  encroachments  on  an  ac* 
quired  right,  earnestly  recommended  the 
magistrates  of  the  said  towns  by  rescript  to 
maintain  intact  the  rights  of  all  citizens. 
The  two  great  Ministers,  Prince  Metternich 
on  the  part  of  Austria,  and  Prince  Harden- 
berg  on  the  part  of  Prussia,  wrote  to  the  free 
towns  in  the  same-strain^  As  to  Metternich^ 
who  has  since  been  reproached,  with  more  or 
less  justice,  as  the  advocate  of  a  political 
system  of  immutability,  it  is  certain  that,  with 
respect  to  the  Jews,  he  did  not  approve  of  the 
reaction,  nor  did  he  ever  appear  inimical  to 
the  Israelites  as  a  people.  Generally,  and 
especially  in  Germany,  this  enmity  is  found 
to  increase  as  we  descend  in  the  scale  of 
society.     As  to  Governments,  they  were,  per- 


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582  POSITION   OF   THE   JEWS 

f 

haps,  negligent,  and  comparatively  even  un- 
just, to  the  rights  and  petitions  of  the  Jews 
in  the  interval  between  1815  and  1848 ;  but 
it  cannot  be  denied  that  the  Jewish  com- 
munities owe  great  obligations  to  the  measures 
and  enactments  of  the  same  Grovemments, 
chiefly  for  their  intellectual  and  scientific 
development.  The  severe  studies  imposed  by 
the  Government  of  Prussia,  previous  to  ad- 
mission into  the  Rabbinate,  produced  a  great 
number  of  theologians,  who  are  now  emi- 
nently distinguished  for  their  learning  and 
refinement. 

The  first  attacks  against  the  Jews,  at  the 
epoch  which  I  have  particularized  as  that  of 
the  reaction,  came  from  the  bosom  of  the 
people,  from  the  pens  of  the  literary  and  the 
learned.  Irritated  by  recalling  what  this 
nation  had  been,  what  it  was,  and  what  it 
appeared  likely  to  be  in  the  future,  they 
loaded  them  with  accusations,  insults,  and 
especially  ridicule,  to  which  their  new  social 
position  but  too  often  exposed  them.  Hatred 
and  satire  were  redoubled  when  the  Jews 
betrayed  their  sensibility  to  them ;  for  example, 
when  Israel  Jacobson  (who,  under  Jerome 
Napoleon,  in  Westphalia,  had  laboured  ear- 
nestly   for    the    improvement    of    his    core- 


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PROM  1789  TO  1848.  583 

ligionists,)  prevailed  on  the  Government  to 
prohibit  a  drama  in  which  the  Jews  were 
covered  with  ridicule. 

At  the  same  time,  the  battle  for  Jewish 
emancipation  was  fought  more  seriously  with 
the  arms  of  political  science,  against  the  maxd* 
fest  desire  that  was  felt  to  oppose  the  execu- 
tion of  the  sixteenth  article  of  the  Treaty  of 
Federation.  The  professor,  Frederick  Eiihs^ 
openly  declared  in  a  pamphlet  his  opinion 
that. the  admission  of  Jews  to  civil  rights  in 
Germany  would  be  pernicious,  in  considera*' 
tion  of  their  existence  as  a  nation,  of  the 
inherent  and  deeply*rooted  vices  of  their  cha- 
racters, and  of  the  very  nature  of  their 
religion.  -Riihs,  consequently,  proposed  to 
ensure  to  them  only  the  protection  of  the 
State  in  the  same  manner  as  to  foreigners. 
Fries,  in  his  critique  in  "The  Annals  of 
Heidelberg'*  on  the  professor^s  pamphlet^ 
went  still  farther,  and  deduced  their  perversity 
and  stupidity  from  their  &ther,  Abraham* 
He  enunciated  as  a  principle  the  complete 
destruction  of  Judaism;  that  is  to  say,  (ex« 
cepting  that  he  would  have  spared  individual 
life,)  he  advocated  the  reproduction  of  those 
enactments  of  the  Middle  Ages  which  tended 
to  purge  Christendom  of  its  Jewish  population. 


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584  POSITION    OF   THE   JEWS 

In  the  absence  of  such  measures,  he  foretold 
that,  in  less  than  forty  years,  all  Christians 
would  be  in  a  state  of  dependance  on  the 
Jews.  In  a  like  spirit,  though,  if  possible, 
more  violently,  one  Frederick,  of  Frankfort, 
published  his  opinion  in  an  anonymous 
pamphlet.  Many  voices  then  arose  in  defence 
of  the  Jews ;  among  themselves,  Z^mmeru,  of 
Heidelberg,  and  Herz,  of  Frankfort;  and 
among  the  Christians,  Johan  Ludwig  Ewald 
de  Carlsruhe  and  August  Kramer,  of  Ratisbon. 
The  Jewish  historians  themselves  have  re- 
marked, that  few  or  none  of  the  Christian 
clergy  took  any  part  in  these  inimical  attacks  on 
Israel.  The  time  for  such  men  as  Rector 
Schudt  was  no  more.  But  while  even  some 
members  of  the  Roman  Catholic  priesthood 
stood  up  in  defence  of  the  unfortunate  Jews,  a 
reformed  rationalist  theologian  distinguished 
himself  as  the  bitterest  opponent  of  the  ad- 
mission of  the  Jews  to  any  civil  rights.  The 
Professor  Paulus,  of  Heidelberg,  well  known 
from  the  antiquated  absurdities  of  his  **  Exi- 
gesis,"  in  a  pamphlet  which  he  published  in 
1817,  declared  his  opinions  to  the  above  effect. 
He  desired  the  entire  exclusion  of  the  Jews, 
as  such,  from  every  political  right,  with  the 
sole  exception  of  such  individuals  as  could 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  685 

bring  proof  by  witness,  or  otber  legal  testi- 
mony, of  personal  capacity  and  worth.    When, 
fourteen  years  later,  in  the  discussion  of  this 
question,  he  stood  forth  as  champion  against 
the  Jews,  he  encountered  more  formidable  ad«> 
versaries  among  the  Israelites  themselves  than 
heretofore.  These  wereMn  Kreisenach,  who  un- 
dertook to  reply  to  him,  andDr.Riesser,  who  fot 
many  years  had  warmly  advocated  the  emanci« 
pation  of  his  brethren,  and  who  became,  in 
1848,  a  member  of  the   Germanic   Diet  at 
Frankfort,  which  has  since  been  annihilated. 
It  was  thus,   during  the  period  of  reaction^ 
from    1816 — 1830,   the   question  concerning 
the  emancipation  of  the  Jews  had  considerably 
retrograded.     Their  exclusion  from  all  magis** 
tracies,  from  any  rank  above  that  of  a  sub- 
altern in  the  army,  from  all  professorships, 
&c.,  was  the  order  of  the  day  in  the  greater 
part  of  the  German  states*     In  some  places 
they  went  even  further.     At  Lubeck,  as  early 
as  1816,  they  had  already  concocted  the  design 
of  no  longer  permitting  the  Jews  to  remain 
within  the  limits  of  their  territory.    This  plan, 
as  far  as  the  precincts  of  the  city  were  con- 
cerned, was  carried  into  effect  in  1819.     In 
other  places  the  excesses  of  the  Middle  Ages 
seemed  likely  to  revive  among  the  populace, 
c  c  3 


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586  POSITION    OF   THE   JEWS 

In  some  parts  the  old  death^cry  of  "Hep! 
Hep ! ''  *  arose ;  the  houses  and  possessions  of 
the  Jews  were  pillaged  and  demolished,  as  in 
Hamburg,  where  a  similar  outrage  was  re» 
peated  as  lately  as  the  year  1835. 

But  in  the  year  1830,  fresh  revolutionary 
movements  arose  in  France,  which  spread 
afterwards  over  Europe,  and  influenced  Ger- 
many more  especially.  The  old  tendency  to 
a  union  of  the  German  states,  under  an  Impe- 
rial Government,  which  should  be  surrounded 
by  revolutionary  institutions,  again  revived.  At 
this  time  a  second,  and  even  a  third  generation 
of  the  liberal  Jews  had  arisen.  Amongst  them 
especially,  the  ideas  of  1815  had  developed 
themselves  with  an  energy  hitherto  unknown. 
They  were  no  longer  the  same  men  who  in  the 
beginning  of  the  nineteenth  century  had  felt 
themselves  almost  encumbered  by  their  re- 
cently acquired  rights,  and  who  had  been  pre- 
vented making  good  their  pretensions  in  the 
field  of  politics  by  the  various  prejudices  of 
Jews  and  Christians.  Now,  on  the  contrary, 
united  with  "  Young  Germany"  in  a  system  of 

*  A  crj,  the  origin  and  signification  of  which  are  still 
uncertain.  Some  have  explained  it  to  be  the  initials  of 
the  three  ifords,  Bierasoiyma  esiperdUa. 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  687 

radical  liberty,  the  new  Judaism  no  longer 
enforced  its  claims  to  a  complete  emancipation 
on  any  other  grounds  than  that  of  its  forming 
an  integral  part,  and  a  necessary  consequence, 
of  the  universal  change  in  the  order  of  things. 
Those  who  were  now,  for  the  emancipation, 
maintained  that,  if  hitherto  all  efforts  to  orga* 
nize  for  the  Jews  a  limited  and  conditional 
equality  in  the  states  of  Germany  had  failed, 
it  was  precisely  on  account  of  this  limitation 
and  these  conditions  that  it  had  fallen  to  the 
ground.  Then  only  could  the  Jewish  nation 
fulfil  its  duty  to  Germany,  and  Germany  be 
what  it  should  be  to  its  Jewish  and  Christian 
inhabitants,  when,  without  any  reserve  or  re* 
striction  whatever,  liberty  and  equality  should 
be  equally  insured  to  all. 

In  this  question,  which  has  been  since  then 
discussed  by  the  press,  in  the  cabinets  of  kings, 
and  in  the  different  assemblies  in  the  states 
of  Germany,  opinion  was  divided  into  three 
distinct  parties  or  views,  —  the  Conservative 
party,  the  Historical  school,  and  the  Revo* 
lutionary' party.  The  Conservative  party,  on 
this  question,  as  on  all  others,  would  have 
preserved,  at  all  idsks,  the  existing  6rder  of 
things.  The  Historical  school  took  history, 
and  established  right  as  a  basis,  and  starting 


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538  POSITION    OF   THE   JEWS 

from  this  point,  strove  to  obtaiitin  a  Christian 
and  anti-revolutionary  spirit  such  progress, 
improvements,  and  amendments  as  were  suit- 
able to  the  necessities  cf  the  age.  Lastly, 
the  Revolutionary  party,  indifferent  to  all 
rights,  caring  not  for  the  history  of  the  past, 
disregarding  religion  and  revelation,  especially 
as  connected  with  social  institutions,  desired 
the  reformation  of  society  and  of  Judaism,  even 
though  it  should  entail  the  entire  submersion 
of  the  present  state  of  things. 

Such  a  submersion  in  particular,  with  re* 
spect  to  Judaism,  was  the  favourite  project  of 
Bruno  Bauer,  famous  for  having  supported  the 
system  of  the  equally  celebrated  David  Fre- 
derick Strauss^  In  1842,  Bauer,  who  resem- 
bled such  men  as  Voltaire  and  Fries  in  his 
unbelieving  and  infidel  hatred,  declared  he 
wished  not  for  the  emancipation  of  the  Jews, 
but  for  their  entire  destruction  and  extinction  in 
a  new  race  of  pantheistical  humanity.  Against 
these  absurd  and  impious  theories,  many 
champions  appeared  amongst  the  Jews,  partly 
to  defend  their  nation  against  the  contempt 
which  the  implacable  enemy  of  both  Jews  and 
Christians  cast  upon  it,  partly  to  expose  his 
numerous  errors  and  follies  with  respect  to 
their  rights,  history,  and  all  their  social  rela- 


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FEOM  1789  TO  1848.  689 

tions.     Bat,  while  learned  Israelites,  such  as 
Dr.  Philippson,  Hirsh,  Holdheim,  Freund,  and 
Salomon,  opposed  the  weight  of  their  yarious 
opinions    to    Bauer,   there  were    some  Jews 
who  took  part  in  his  pantheistical  radicalism. 
Jews  who  had  long  been  weary  of  the  religion 
of  their  fathers  were  glad   to  shake  off  the 
remembrance  of  their  birth,  and  to  discard  the 
remains  of  their  former  religious  ideas.    It  was 
in  virtue  of  such  a  principle,  as  it  appears, 
that  the  celebrated  Ludwig  Borne,  who  died 
in  1832,  left  the  Judaism  in  which  he  was 
bom,  and  which  he  had  defended,  in  the  year 
1819,    against    unworthy    persecution    with 
equal  spirit  and   energy.     He  submitted   to 
baptism  not  as  an  open  profession  of  Christi*- 
anity,  but  as  a  means  of  doing  away  with  all 
religious  differences  among  the  inhabitants  of 
the  German  states.     About  the  sanie  period 
lived  and  wrote  one  of  the  most  gifted  of  the 
women  of  Germany,  the  celebrated  Bahel,  the 
wife  of  the  Baron  of  Varnhagen.     It  was  she 
who,  in  the  bitterness  of  her  heart  at  the  con^ 
tempt  with  which  her  nation  was  treated  by 
all  other  nations,  declared  one  day,  in  the 
midst  of  the  brilliant  and  pantheistical  circle 
to  which  she  belonged,  that  she  submitted  to 
her  fate  in  having  been  bom  a  Jewess  in  the 


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590  POSITION   OF   THE   JEWS 

0ame  spirit  that  one  submits  to  an  illness,  or 
resigns  oneself  to  a  misfortune. 

As  to  the  school  or  system  called  '^  the  His- 
toric," we  must  observe,  that  even  those  Jews* 
who  were  enthusiastic  in  their  desire  for 
emancipation  did  justice  to  the  stability  of  this 
Christian  party.  What,  in  fact,  could  exhibit 
more  true  consistency  in  the  Christian  man 
than  his  unwillingness  either  to  co-operate  in 
the  extinction  of  the  ancient  nationality  of 
the  Jews,  or,  on  the  other  hand,  to  commit 
legislative  and  judicial  powers  in  a  Christian 
state  to  men  who  were  by  profession  adver- 
saries of  Christianity?  It  was  in  this  spirit  of 
the  Historical  school  that  the  King  of  Prussia 
declared  himself,  in  the  year  1847,  when,  after 
the  great  National  Assembly  for  that  year,  in 
which  the  emancipation  of  the  Jews  was  dis- 
cussed and  rgected,  he  published  his  edict  of 
the  23rd  of  July.  This  edict,  similarly  to 
that  of  1812,  secured  to  his  Jewish  subjects 
throughout  the  kingdom  an  equality  of  rights 
and  duties,  with  some  important  exceptions, 
founded  especially  upon  the  incompatibility  of 
their  emancipation,  or  absolute  equality  with 
the  well-being  of  a  Christian  state. 

*  Jost,  Keuere  Geschichte  der  Israeliteii.  fireten  Ab« 
theUang.— P.  44. 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  591 

Th^  events  which  soon  followed  are  yet 
recent  in  the  memory  of  all.  The  shock 
endured  and  communicated  by  France  on  the 
24th  February,  1848,  caused,  in  Germany, 
the  explosion  of  those  designs,  theories,  and 
conspiracies  which  had  been  long  before  pre- 
pared. It  is  known  that  the  emancipation  of 
the  Jews  was  effected,  in  its  fiiU  extent,  by 
the  revolutionary  principle,  simultaneously 
with  the  entire  dissolution,  if  we  may  so 
express  it,  of  ancient  Germany,  The  great 
part  taken  by  the  liberal  Jews  of  all  kinds  in 
the  recent  changes  and  movements  in  Bohemia 
and  Hungary  is  also  well  known.  Many  of 
the  most  decidedly  Radical  and  revolutionary 
newspapers  were  edited  by  Jews  both  in 
Prussia  and  Austria.  Many  Israelites  holding 
ultra-radical  views  sat  in  the  German  Diet  at 
Frankfort,  and  in  that  of  Prussia  at  Berlin. 
Among  the  deputies  to  Frankfort  were, 
besides  Dr.  Riesser,  whom  we  have  already 
mentioned.  Dr.  Veit,  Cohen,  Hartmann,  Ka^ 
randa  of  Prague,  and  other  Israelites.  One 
of  the  most  violent  members  of  the  Left  in  the 
Prussian  Chamber,  after  the  events  of  1848, 
was  Jacobi,  also  a  Jew.  Dr.  Jellinck,  who, 
with  Dr.  Becher,  was  shot  at  Vienna  on  the 
20thof  November,  wasdescended  from  the  same 


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592  POSITION    OF   THE   J£W6 

nation  which,  under  so  many  different  dispen- 
sations, has  ,so  often  obstinately  mistaken  its 
path  of  duty. 

It  is  not  only  among  the  journalists  and  tihie 
.  radical  politicians  of  the  time  that  we  meet 
with  new  symptoms  of  life  and  energy  among 
the  Jews.  We  cannot  disallow  that  during 
the  thirty  years'  crisis  which  we  have  just 
sketched,  great  talents  and  extensive  resources 
of  the  most  varied  and  opposite  tendency  have 
been  displayed  by  Israelites  in  the  different 
departments  of  European  civilization*  It  is 
no  longer  exclusively  in  a  financial  capacity 
that  the  Jews  of  the  present  day  have  earned 
distinction.  They  have  almost  everywhere, 
in  these  times,  earned  fame  in  positions  and 
vocations  from  which  for  many  centuries  they 
had  been  debarred.  In  Germany  and  ia 
Poland,  as  well  as  in  France,  since  the  changes 
of  1789,  the  Israelite  has  proved  his  capacity 
for  the  profession  of  arms,  and  has  frequently 
maintained  the  honour  of  his  warlike  descent 
from  his  ancestors  of  Palestine.  Already, 
towards  the  close  of  the  preceding  century,  a 
body  of  Jewish  volunteers  had  been  formed 
under  the  banner  of  Koscinzko,  whose  chief^ 
Berek,  after  having  earned  many  marks  of 
honour  in  the  war  of  independence,  lost  bis 


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FKOM  1789  TO  1848.  593 

life  in  battle..  During  the  war  for  German 
liberty,  from  1813—1815,  not  less  than  1,700 
Israelites  fought  in  the  service  of  Austria 
alone.  Thirty-five  officers  of  that  nation  fell 
gloriously  on  the  field  of  Waterloo,  and  great 
were  also  the  services  rendered  by  Jewish 
physicians  and  surgeons  on  this  occasion.  It 
was  so  much  the  more  made  a  matter  of  corn* 
plaint  afterwards  by  the  German  Jews,  against 
the  system  of  reaction,  that  they  were  either 
entirely  excluded  from  military  service,  or,  as 
we  have  already  said,  confined  to  the  rank  of 
subalterns.  Meanwhile,  great  was  the  pro-> 
gress  made  by  them  in  Germany  in  the  paths 
of  science  and  literature.  In  medicine,  astro- 
nomy, and  mathematics,  they  equalled  and,  in 
proportion  to  the  progress  of  science  during  so 
many  centuries,  surpassed  the  great  models  of 
their  nation  in  Spain  during  the  Middle  Ages. 
Doctors  and  professors  who  are  by  descent,  by 
birth,  and  even  by  actual  profession,  Israelites, 
have  during  the  last  thirty  years  excelled  in 
every  branch  of  knowledge*  Rabbinical  theo- 
logy, in  consequence  of  the  severe  studies 
exacted  by  the  Government,  assumed  from 
that  period  a  scientific  character.  The  Arabic, 
as  well  as  the  Hebraic  and  Chaldaic  languages 
and  literature,  have  been  cultivated  by  the 


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594  POSITION   OF  THE   XEWS 

German  Jews  witih  success  and  celebrity. 
Nomeroos  poets  have  arisen,  who  have  fol- 
lowed Hartwig  in  enriching  modem  Hebrew 
poetry  by  their  remarkable  prodactions.  Bat 
also  in  the  language  of  Goethe  and  Schiller, 
many  Israelites  in  Germany  have  spoken  with 
the  voice  of  talent  in  poetry  and  prose.  In 
the  art  of  Haydn  and  of  Mozart,  of  Beethoven 
and  of  Weber,  they  fill  the  highest  ranks; 
nor  have  painters  been  wanting  among  them 
during  the  period  we  are  reviewing.  In  a 
word,  the  Israelites  of  the  dispersion  have  for 
the  last  two  generations  presented  an  entirely 
new  phase  of  esiistence  in  Germany. 

And  now,  what  does  the  Christian  think, — 
how  does  he  feel  when  he  contemplates  this 
novel  and  complete  change  in  the  destiny  of 
Israel  ^  The  Christian,  attached  to  the  Gospel 
of  Christ,  who  believes  alike  in  the  judgments 
and  promises  of  God  with  respect  to  the  de- 
scendants of  Abraham,  cannot  but  experience 
a  mixed  feeling.  He  will  certainly  be  inte- 
rested in  all  that  in  Israel  is  characteristic  of 
the  dawning  of  regeneration ;  but  at  the  same 
time,  how  shall  he  not  be  moved  with  grief, 
whenever  he  beholds  the  talents  and  the 
efforts  of  the  Israelite  of  the  present  day 
employed  to  attack  and  undermine  religion 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  695 

and  social  order,  employed  in  the  destruction 
at  once  of  Judaism  and  Christianity,  in  the 
service,  to  sum  up  all,  of  infidelity  and  rebel- 
lion !  But  yet  he  will  not  pause  at  these  first 
and  transient  results.  Beyond  all  the  horror 
of  these  phenomena  he  sees  the  advent  of  a 
period  when  these  same  renewed  efforts  and 
these  same  talents  will  be  consecrated  to  the 
service  of  the  Gospel,  which  was  formerly  to 
them  a  "  stumbling-block,"  and  which  is  now 
to  them  more  than  ever  ''foolishness,"  but 
which,  nevertheless,  in  our  days  has  become 
unto  several  among  them  *'  the  power  of  God 
unto  salvation.''  In  this  way  the  heart  of  the 
Christian  may  rejoice  in  hope  at  aU  these 
different  movements  giving  proof  of  life  and 
progress,  considering  them  to  be  the  ''  shaking 
of  the  bones,"  which,  according  to  the  Prophet 
Ezekiel  (chap,  xxxvii.  7)  should  precede  the 
resurrection  of  Israel. 

Let  us  pause  for  a  moment,  to  consider  the 
influence  of  the  movements  of  which  we  have 
just  spoken  on  Judaism  as  a  religion,  and  on 
its  ancient  strongholds.  We  have  already 
more  than  once  remarked,  that  not  only  the 
nationality  but  also  the  religion  of  the  Jews 
languishes  and  declines  in  the  same  proportion 
in  which    real    or    even    pseudo-civilization 


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596  POSITION   OF   THE   JEWS 

spreads  amongst  them^  or  in  the  world  in 
general.  The  doctrines  of  Pharisaic  Judaism 
have  not,  it  is  true,  entirely  disappeared  in 
the  synagogues;  the  institutions  of  their  an- 
cestors find  sectaries  and  defenders  not  merely 
among  the  vulgar,  but  even  in  the  body  of 
learned  and  scientific  Rabbins.  The  old  idea 
of  a  personal  advent  is  stiU  cherished  by  many 
in  the  bosom  of  the  synagogue ;  nevertheless, 
it  is  an  incontestable  fact  that  the  Talmud  is 
losing  its  authority  from  day  to  day,  and  that, 
in  these  latter  times,  it  is  more  esteemed  for 
the  light  it  throws  on  the  history,  language^ 
and  laws  of  the  past,  than  as  a  code  of  Divine 
authority  for  the  dispersed  children  of  Israel. 
Meanwhile  the  tendency  is  becoming  more 
and  more  general  to  replace  all  that  was 
peculiar  to  the  religious  worship  of  the 
Hebrews,  by  ceremonies  and  usages  borrowed 
from  the  Christians.  For  example,  in  1814, 
for  the  first  time,  a  sermon  was  preached  in 
the  German  language,  in  the  synagogue  at 
Vienna.  At  Berlin,  also,  the  banker  Jacob- 
son  lent  his  efforts  to  found  a  Jewish  worship 
of  a  completely  modem  form.  The  example 
was  soon  followed  at  Hamburg,  where  the 
service  was  managed  by  Drs.  Kley  and  Salo- 
mon, who  preached  in  German,  and  by  the 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  697 

additional  innovation  of  an  organ  altered  the 
old  forms.  The  change  was  naturally  not 
merely  an  exterior  one.  The  spirit  of  the  age 
affected  the  essentials  of  the  Jewish  religion, 
in  a  way  that  had  been  foretold  and  feared  by 
the  first  authors  of  the  new  civilization,  such 
as  Friedlander  and  his  friends.  Deism  and 
Bationalism  followed  in  the  synagogue  nearly 
the  same  course  as  in  the  Christian  Churches 
and  schools.  In  the  synagogue  as  in  the 
Church  all  that  was  national  and  Israelitish, 
all  that  was  supernatural  and  beyond  the 
reach  of  unassisted  human  reason,  was  furiously 
attacked  and  rejected.  In  Bavaria,  as  well  as 
in  other  places,  Neology  in  the  synagogue 
gave  rise  to  so  much  uneasiness  that  the 
Government  believed  itself  justified  in  inter- 
fering, in  1888-39,  by  decrees  to  the  following 
effect, — that  no  one  should  be  eligible  to  the 
Babbinate,  excepting  the  followers  of  the 
ancient  religion  of  Moses,  in  contradistinction 
to  modem  Judaism.  Soon  after,  the  reigning 
spirit  of  Neology  made  such  rapid  progress 
that  a  refarmatiofij  according  to  the  ideas  of 
the  age,  meant  nothing  less  than  an  entire 
d^oUtion.  This  idea,  in  spite  of  the  false  pro* 
testations  of  not  wishing  the  destruction  but 
merely  the  reparation  of  the  edifice,  was  pretty 


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598  POSITIOK   OP  THE   JEWS 

openly  proclaimed  in  a  circular  by  Dr.  Gold- 
Schmidt,  at  Frankfort,  in  1843,  in  which  is 
found  the  following  declaration  (a  declaration 
which  bears  some  resemblance  to  the  cry  of 
the  Israelites  in  the  day  of  the  crucifixion  of 
Jesus): — "  We  neither  look  for  nor  desire  a 
Messiah  who  shall  lead  the  Israelites  back  to 
Palestine;  we  know  no  other  country  than 
that  of  our  birth,  to  which  we  politically 
belong.'*  In  another  assembly  of  Jewish 
reformers  of  this  stamp,  it  was  said  that  the 
idea  of  a  Messiah  was  still  cherished,  not  as  a 
personage  whose  advent  was  desirable  fi>r,  and 
of  importance  to,  Israel,  but  only  as  a  figure  of 
speech,  expressive  of  the  progress  of  the  whole 
human  race.  Still  later,  they  proposed,  as  a 
means  of  preparation  fw  the  fusion  of  Judaism 
and  Christianity,  henceforth  to  set  apart  San- 
day  instead  of  the  Sabbath.  In  return  for 
this  concession,  Wislicenus,  the  minister  of 
the  feunous  "  Friends  of  Light,"  in  Germany, 
in  one  of  their  meetings,  in  answer  to  the 
Israelite  Benfey,  declared  such  Jews  as  should 
wish  to  become  members  of  their  religious 
society  exempted  from  the  necessity  of  being 
baptized. 

While  thud  Mosaic  as  well  as  Talmudic 
Judaism  seemed  on  the  verge  of  extinction  in 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  599 

a  philosophical  and  social  pantheism,  God, 
who  in  all  times  causes  even  the  wickedness 
of  man   to   avail  in  forwarding  his   Divine 
purposes,  made  use  in  our  day  of  this  increased 
communication  hetween  Jews  and  Christians, 
to  lead  several  of  his  ancient  people  to  the 
knowledge  and  confession  of  the  Gospel,  and 
to  assemble  here  and  there  the  first-fruits  of 
this  great  harvest,   of  which  the  season  is 
approaching  amidst  the  manifold  signs  of  the 
times.     Those  who  have  gone    over  to  the 
Protestant  Churches  from  the  synagogue  have 
been  more  numerous  during  these  few  last 
years  in  Germany  than  they  ever  were  else* 
where  or  before.     Amongst  a  multitude  of 
Israelites  who  have  doubtless  been  led  by  very 
different  views  to  receive  baptism,  a  remark* 
able  number  have  distinguished  themselves  by 
the  sincerity  of  their  profession,  having  de* 
voted  the  talents  received  from  God  either  to 
the  preaching  of  his  Word  far  and  near,  or  to 
Christian  science  in  the  different  walks   of 
education,  and  other  social  duties.     The  num- 
ber of  Jews  baptized  in  Germany  during  the 
last  twenty  years  is  estimated  at  five  thousand. 
We  have  rapidly  retraced  the  movements 
connected  with  Israel  in  France,  the  Nether- 
lands, and  Germany.     During  this  period  the 


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600  POSITION    OF   THE   JEWS 

cause  of  the  absolute  political  emancipation 
of  the  Jews  was  also  progressing  in  Great 
Britain.     In  this  kingdom  the  spirit  of  the 
age  walks  with  less  hasty  but  more  sure  and 
certain  steps.     Liberal  ideas  and  institutions, 
using  the  word  indifferently  in  its  good  and 
evil  sense,  have  extended  their  influence  in 
England  as  well  as  on  the  Continent;    not 
indeed  by  sudden  revolutions,  but  by  means  of 
lawful  measures,  tending  to  the-  same  end, 
which,  though  conceded  by  the  upper  to  the 
lower  classes,  are  often  forced  as  matters  of 
necessity  on  the  Government  of  the  country 
and  on  the  Houses  of  Parliament  by  the  con- 
tinuous action  of  public  opinion.     As  to  the 
great  question  of  the  political  rights  of  the 
Jews  in  England,  their  more  limited  number 
and  smaller  scientific  influence  in  this  country, 
compared  with   the  same  in  Germany,   has 
perhaps  given  a  more  or  less  peculiar  character 
to  the  progress  of  their  emancipation  in  the 
three  kingdoms.    Nevertheless,  in  the  decision 
of  this  question  England  has  only  just  stopped 
short  of  the  repeal  of  its  ancient  laws  and 
usages  relative  to  Israel.     The  Jews,  already 
in    possession  of  the    right  of   voting,  and 
eligible  for  the  duties  of  the  municipal  magis- 
tracy (having  in  our  time  served  as  aldermen). 


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FEOM  1789  TO  1848-  601 

are  still,  however,  at  this  present  moment, 
excluded  from  a  seat  in  Parliament,  hut  the 
election  of  the  Baron  Lionel  Bothschild  has 
led  to  the  proposal  of  a  law  hy  Lord  John 
Bussell,  Prime  Minister,  to  change  the  form 
of  the  oath.  This  bill,  passed  by  the  House 
of  Commons,  but  thrown  out  by  a  majority  in 
the  House  of  Lords,  will  probably,  sooner  or 
later,  again  be  brought  forward  and  passed, 
from  the  influence  of  public  opinion,  as 
displayed  by  the  recent  re-election  of  the 
Israelitish  Baron.  Here  again  the  Christian, 
doubtless,  from  his  reverence  for  the  religious 
institutions  of  the  State,  from  the  value  also 
which  he  attaches  to  the  distinct  nationality 
of  the  Jews,  cannot  fail  to  oppose  and  raise 
his  voice  against  such  a  measure ;  but,  at  the 
same  time,  when  it  shall  have  passed  into  a 
law,  he  will  be  resigned,  and  will  even  rejoice. 
He  will  see  the  unfolding  of  the  purposes  of 
God,  that,  even  in  that  separation  of  Church 
and  State  which  seems  on  all  sides  hanging 
over  the  Christian  world,  and  which  forms  but 
a  part  of  the  great  process  of  dissolution,  soon 
to  be  followed  by  an  entirely  new  state  of 
things,  under  a  new  dispensation,  in  the  king- 
dom of  God.  It  is  thus  that  even  the  political 
emancipation  of  the  Jews  becomes,  when  con- 

D   D 


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602  POSITION    OF  THE  JEWS 

nected  with  the  other  signs  of  the  times,  in 
itself  a  positive  mark  that  '^old  things"  are 
passing  away,   and  that   *^new   things"  are 
about  to  appear,  although  in  a  very  different 
sense  to  that  in  which  the  spirit  of  the  age 
rejoices.     Of  England  we  must  also  observe, 
in  conclusion,  that  the  propagatioa  of  an  irre* 
ligious  liberality  on  the  one  hand  is  there 
accompanied  on  the  other  by  a  remarkable 
spread  of  the  Gospel  amongst  the   seed  of 
Abraham,   to  whom    it    is    diligently   made 
known.     In  Great  Britain,  as  in   Germany, 
Jews  who  have  received  baptism  are  numerous; 
amongst  them  are  several  labourers  for  Christ, 
ministers  as  well  as  missionaries.     Alexander, 
the    first    Protestant    Bishop  of   Jerusalem, 
established  there  by  the  co-operation  of  the 
Sovereigns  of  England  and  Prussia,  was  an 
Israelite,  a  native  of  Germany,  and  for  a  long 
time  one  of  the  Professors  of  an    English 
university. 

We  must  now  glance  at  the  condition  of 
the  Jews  in  the  principal  remaining  European 
countries — Protestant  and  Roman  Catholic, 
Greek  and  Mahomedan.  Among  the  last 
mentioned  we  shall  find,  even  in  Asia,  that 
the  effects  of  the  movement  of  the  latter  days 
are  sensibly  visible  in  the  position  of  the  JewSj 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  603 

although  there  it  has  been  less  rapid  and 
vigorous. 

In  Sweden  and  in  Norway,  the  movement, 
considered  in  relation  to  the  Israelites,  would 
not  appear  less  remarkable  than  in  Germany, 
France,  or  England,  if  their  number  in  these 
kingdoms,  united  under  the  sceptre  of  Oscar, 
had  not  been  so  limited.  In  a  population  of 
four  millions  there  are  but  eight  hundred  and 
fifty  Jews,  and  yet  in  favour  of  these  few 
Israelites,  in  1848,  at  Stockholm,  they  dis- 
cussed the  propriety  of  introducing  a  bill  of 
emancipation.  Some  time  before,  a  popular 
poet  of  Norway,  named  Wergeland,  had  de- 
voted his  whole  life  to  procure  the  abrogation 
of  the  ancient  law,  according  to  which  no  Jew 
could  settle  in  the  country  without  the  express 
permission  of  the  King.  The  Jewish  com- 
munity in  the  capital  of  Sweden  has  expressed 
its  gratitude  for  this  benevolent  zeal,  by  the 
erection  of  a  monument  in  honour  of  the  poet, 
cast  in  the  foundry  of  an  Israelite  aft;er  the 
model  of  an  artist  of  the  same  race.  In  Den- 
mark, where  (from  1738)  the  German  and 
Portuguese  Jews  had  already  obtained  a  con<- 
siderable  augmentation  of  their  privileges,  a 
royal  edict  of  the  29th  of  May,  1814,  contri- 
buted much  to  the  amelioration  of  their  social 
D  D  2 


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604  POSITION   OF   THE   JEWS 

position  and  internal  administration  of  their 
synagogues;  this  principally  in  the  spirit  of 
the  Jewish-German  Reformation  of  modem 
times, — their  ahsolute  emancipation  has  not, 
up  to  the  present  day,  heen  achieved  in  any 
of  the  Scandinavian  countries. 

In  Roman  Catholic  lands,  in  the  same 
manner  as  in  French  and  German  territories, 
these  latter  days  have  brought  about  several 
remarkable  changes  in .  the  relations  of  the 
Jews  to  governments,  legislation,  and  popu- 
lace. Already,  before  the  year  1848,  Pope 
Pius  IX.  set  an  example  of  liberality,  by  his 
regulations  in  favour  of  the  Jewish  subjects  of 
the  Church.  The  Ghetto  of  the  Jews  at  Rome 
was  solemnly  opened  in  the  evening  of  the 
17th  of  April,  1847,  as  if  to  proclaim  the 
principle  that  henceforth  the  wall  of  separa- 
tion between  the  Jewish  quarter  and  the  city 
of  Rome  was  thrown  down.  A  similar  open- 
ing of  the  Ghetto  had  already  taken  place  in 
the  time  of  the  first  French  revolution,  and 
under  the  Empire ;  but  after  the  restoration  of 
the  Bourbon  dynasty  and  system,  in  1814-15, 
the  Jews  had  signally  lost  ground.  As 
formerly,  so  again,  four  elders  of  the  syna- 
gogue were  obliged  humbly  and  solemnly  to 
supplicate   the  Pope   annually  in  public,  to 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  605 

grant  tliem  permission  as  a  nation  to  reside  in 
the  capital  of  the  Roman  Catholic  world. 
Pius  IX.  put  an  end  to  this  state  of  things  by 
a  toleration  which,  some  say,  was  so  compre- 
hensive, that,  in  re-establishing  the  ancient 
Order  of  Virtue  and  Merit  instituted  by 
Pius  IV,,  he  actually  substituted  a  star  for 
the  cross  formerly  worn.  The  same  year 
Charles  Albert  also  conceded,  from  his  head^ 
quarters  at  Voghera,  full  political  rights  to 
his  Jewish  subjects.  Even  the  Duke  of  Mo- 
dena  permitted,  in  his  states,  the  first  publica- 
tion of  a  monthly  periodical  by  the  Jews. 
We  have  already  remarked,  on  a  previous 
occasion,  on  the  position  of  the  Israelites 
relative  to  the  governments  of  Spain  and 
Portugal,  we  shaU  now  only  subjoin  a  curious 
fact,  that  in  Spain,  where  the  laws  do  not  yet 
openly  sanction  the  residence  of  the  exiles  of 
1492,  the  Grand  Cross  of  the  Order  of  Isabella 
the  Catholic  has  been  presented  to  a  German 
Jew,  a  banker ;  while  in  Portugal,  an  English 
baronet,  also  by  birth  and  religion  a  German 
Jew,  possesses  a  noble  estate,  and  bears  the 
tide  attached  to  it. 

In  Sclavonic  countries,  where  Boman  Cap 
tholicism  prevails,  as  well  as  in  Russia,  where 
the  Greek  Church  is  supreme,  the  social  con- 


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606  PbSITION   OF   THE   JEWS 

dition  of  the  Jews  varies  with  the  locality; 
In  Poland  their  political  and  religions  ten* 
dency  is  somewhat  of  a  conservative  character, 
(worldly  interests  having  effected  this  bias,) 
although    since  Koscinzko   there   have    not 
been  wanting  among  them  warm  partisans  of 
Polish  independence.    We  may  add,  that  in 
all  that  is,  or  rather  was,  Polish  territory,  the 
Jewish  population    is    extremely  numerous. 
In  Cracow  there  is  one   Israelite   to    every 
eleven  inhabitants.     Russia,  since  the  acoes* 
sion  of  its  Polish  provinces,  numbers  not  less 
than  1,120,000  Jews  amongst  its  sixty-three 
millions,  a  proportion  nearly  equal  to  that  of 
the  Netherlands.     The  treatment  experienced 
by  the  Jews  is  naturally  less  oppressive  in  the 
Polish  provinces  than  in  the  Moscovite  part 
The  system  of  the  reigning  Czar  appears  to 
bear  a  great,  but  not  altogether  wonderful, 
resemblance  to  that  of  the  German  Radicals, 
whose  plan  is  not  to  receive  the  Jews  into  the 
national  existence  of  the  body  of  the  people, 
but  to  absorb  them,  in  extinguishing  their 
nationality  by  means  resembling  those  adopted 
in  the  Middle  Ages  by  Ferdinand  and  Isabella 
of  Spain.     It  is  well  known  that  the  universal 
principle  of  the  Russian  Government  tends  to 
unite    all  its  subjects,  not  merely  under  a 


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TROM  1789  TO  1848.  607 

secular  sway,  but  also  under  the  ecclesiastical 
and  patriarchal  dominion  of  the  Czar.  It 
appears,  however,  that  the  severe  measures 
adopted  with  this  intention,  in  regard  to  the 
Jews  in  that  empire,  have  been  considerably 
softened  during  these  last  years,  more  espe- 
cially since  Sir  Moses  Montefiore's  journey  to 
Russia,  undertaken  with  a  view  of  inducing 
the  Czar  to  look  more  favourably  on  his 
Israelitish  subjects.  However  that  may  be, 
the  oppressive  measures  of  Russia  have,  ac« 
cording  to  some  extraordinary  accounts  of  the 
interior  of  this  empire,  produced  in  the  last 
half-century  much  the  same  results  as  those 
brought  about  by  the  persecutions  and  forced 
conversions  of  Catholic  Spain  in  the  Middle 
Ages.  It  is  said  that  the -influence  of  Jews 
who  continue  to  hold  in  private  the  &ith  they 
have  in  public  forsaken,  is  not  less  important 
in  Russia  (where  in  the  last  few  years  it  is 
calculated  3,000  have  been  baptized)  than  it 
was  in  bygone  ages  in  the  Spanish  peninsula. 
From  the  highest  to  the  lowest  ranks  of 
society,  that  is  to  say,  from  the  smallest  retail 
dealer  in  Poland  to  the  general  officer  at 
Petersburgh,  there  is  said  to  exist  a  line  of 
Israelites  in  communication  with  each  other, 
through  whose  hands  pass  the  chief  affairs  of 


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608  POSITION  OF  thjE  jews 

(he  home  departmeBt,  as  well  as  the  faost 
important  foreign  n^otiations.  The  cele^ 
hrated  Russian  minister  of  finance,  Cancrin,  is 
said  to  have  been,  at  least  by  birth,  a  Livonian 
Israelite. 

Sclavonic  populations  in  general  continiie  to 
evince  but  small  favour  to  the  Jews.     The 
lower  we  descend  in  Bohemian   and  Polish 
society,  the  more  deeply  rooted  are  the  preju- 
dices against  them.     During  the  recent  move- 
ments of  the  year  1848,  to  which,  in  Bohemia 
in  particular,  Jews  of  the  modem  school  have 
lent  their  aid,  they  have  nevertheless  as  a 
people  had  much  to  suffer  from  the  demo- 
cratic party.    The  good-will  of  the  Magyars 
towards  them  tad  their  political  emancipation 
contrasts  remarkably  with  the  dislike  evinced 
for  them  by  the  Sclavonic  races,  who  form  a 
considerable  part  of  the  Hungarian  population. 
Hungary  in  general  has  been,  almost  from 
time  immemorial,  a  very  remarkable  country 
for  the   dispersed  children  of  Israel.     They 
were  considered  an   ancient  people  in   this  . 
remote  country  even  in  the  eleventh  century ; 
their  collective  numbers  in  the  synagogues  of 
Pesth,   Presburg,   Grosswardein,  •  Arad,    and 
elsewhere,  were  calculated  to  amount  to  about 
270,000  souls.     The  Hungarian  Jews,  largely 


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F&aM  1789  TO  184a  609 

participating  in  the  miseries  and  oppressions 
of  their  German  and  Sclayonic  brethren,  often 
fonnd  magnanimous  protectors  among  the 
Magyar  magnates,  such  as  the  Counts  Falfy, 
Bathjany,  Erdody,  Nadasdy,  and  Feleky.  In 
reply  to  the  addresses  and  propositions  touch* 
ing  the  social  condition  of  the  Jews,  all  the 
magnates  who  sat  in  the  diet  of  1839-40 
declared  themselves,  with  more  or  less  restric- 
tion, and  some  without  any  reserve  whatever, 
in  favour  of  the  political  emancipation  of  the 
Jews. 

In  Mahomedan  countries,  Asiatic  and 
African,  the  relation  between  the  Israelites  on 
the  one  hand  and  the  governments  and  people 
on  the  other,  has  progressed  in  exact  propor- 
tion to  the  influence  that  Christianity  and  the 
growth  of  civilization  have  exercised  on  those 
countries.  Still  great,  however,  is  the  con« 
tempt  in  which  Jews  and  Christians,  and 
more  particularly  the  former,  are  held  by 
Mahomedan  populations.  But  on  the  part  of 
the  governments  of  the  viceroy  of  Egypt  and 
of  the  Sultan  of  Constantinople,  a  gradually 
increasing  favour  has  been  exhibited  to  the 
Israelite.  At  one  time  only,  in  1840,  an 
accusation,  which  had  long  been  unheard,  was 
on  the  point  of  causing,  in  the  East,  a  general 
D  D  3 


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610  POSITION   OF   THE   JEWS 

persecution  of  the  Jews  wherever   such  an 
accusation  could  find  an  echo.     It   will  he 
recollected   that,  according    to    the    terrihle 
calumny  of  the  Middle  Ages  in  Europe,  the 
Israelites  chose  to  celebrate  the  Passover  with 
human  blood,  and  for  this  purpose  sought  to 
carry  off  and  sacrifice  children,  and  even  adults. 
At  the  time  that  we  have  particularized,  a 
like  accusation  was  levelled  against  the  Jewish 
population  in  Syria,  which  at  that  period  was 
under  the  rule  of  Mehemet  Ali.     A  certain 
monk,  named  Father  Thomas,  who  for  thirty 
years  had  practised  medicine  at  Damascus,  had 
suddenly  disappeared,  and  it  was  soon  suspected 
that  he  had  been  assassinated.     The  French 
Consul,  Count  Menton,  as  one  who  considered  it 
his  peculiar  business  to  watch  over  the  interests 
of  the  Christians  in  Syria,  made  various  re- 
searches   into  the    matter,   which,   however, 
proved  abortive.     Gradually  the  r^ort  spread 
that  the  monk  had   been  last  seen  in  the 
Jewish  quarter ;  they  imagined  they  had  dis- 
covered a  clue  to  the  crime.    A  Jewish  barber 
was  imprisoned,  closely  questioned,  and  pat 
to  the  torture.     At  last  they  extracted  from 
him  a  confession  to  the  effect  that  some  of  his 
brethren  had  tempted  him,  but  vainly,  by  the 
offer  of  a  sum  of  money,  to  assassinate  Father 


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PROM  1789  TO  1848.  611 

Thomas.  This  denunciation,  supported  by  no 
proof,  and  evidently  absurd,  was,  as  part  of  a 
chain  of  circumstances,  considered  important 
enough  to  authorize  the  arrest  of  all  the 
Israelites  whom  the  barber  had  named. 
These  were  chiefly  members  of  the  Spanish 
synagogue,  some  of  distinguished  families, 
amongst  whom  were  the  Peixotos,  the  re- 
spected consuls  of  several  of  the  European 
powers.  The  aged  and  the  weak  sank  under 
the  horrible  torments  which  were  inflicted  on 
the  accused.  Others  allowed  a  false  confes- 
sion to  be  drawn  from  them.  Some  in  despair 
embraced  Islamism,  the  rest  persisted  with 
constancy  in  their  denial  of  guilt.  The  popu- 
lace, in  the  meantime,  began  to  pillage  the 
synagogues,  and  to  torture  the  unhappy  Jews 
as  they  liked,  abetted  by  the  police.  This 
excitement  of  accusation  and  persecution 
spread  from  Damascus  to  other  places, 
amongst  these  to  Rhodes,  and  even  in  some 
parts  of  Poland  similar  disorders  were  appre* 
bended. 

Meanwhile,  there  arose  from  the  synagogues 
of  all  parts  protestations  against  the  equally 
monstrous  and  cruel  accusation  which  dared 
to  impute  to  the  Jews  human  sacrifices  in 
their  rites  and    mysteries.      The    European 


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612  POSITION   OF  THE   JEWS 

powers  interested  tkemselves  earnestly  in  their 
behalf, — France  excepted,  whose  Goyemment 
preferred  upholding  the  inexcusable  conduct 
of  its  consul.  England,  on  the  contrary, 
distinguished  itself  for  its  zeal  in  calling  for 
and  accelerating  a  dispassionate  examination  of 
facts,  in  order  to  make  palpable  the  indubitable 
innocence  of  the  ill-treated  Israelites.  The 
interest  and  co-operation  of  all  the  different 
religious  and  political  parties  in  Great  Britain 
was  general,  when,  on  the  15th  June,  in  the 
London  synagogue,  a  large  meeting  of  the 
Jews  was  convoked,  to  take  efficacious 
measures  in  behalf  of  their  brethren  against 
the.  horrible  oppression  from  which  they  were 
suffering.  Yet  more  remarkable  was  the 
unanimity  on  this  occasion  of  the  Emperor  of 
Russia  and  the  Government  of  the  United 
States  of  America,  who,  in  concert  with  Eng- 
land, expressed  a  determination  that,  once  and 
for  all,  an  end  should  be  put  to  such  abuses 
and  such  horrors.  The  meeting  in  London  in 
the  meantime  had  decisive  results.  Sir  Moses 
Montefiore  went  in  person  with  his  wife  to 
Syria,  accompanied  by  some  learned  men, 
chiefly  of  the  Jewish  persuasion.  He  passed 
through  France  on  his  way,  where  he  was 
joined  by  the  celebrated  advocate,  Cr6mieux, 


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FROM  1789  TO  1848.  613 

who  attended  the  expedition  in  the  capacity 
of  envoy  from  the  French  Jews.  Sir  Moses 
Montefiore,  encouraged  by  th%  importance 
of  his  mission,  and  upheld  by  the  English 
Embassy  and  Consuls  at  Alexandria,  soon 
obtained  an  audience,  which  Cr^mieux  only 
effected  much  later,  in  consequence  of  the  in- 
difference of  the  French  Consul. 

The  success  of  the  deputation  was  complete. 
Supported  by  the  representatives  of  all  the 
European  powers,  always  excepting  France,  a 
firman  was  obtained  from  the  aged  Fasha, 
ordering  the  release  of  nine  Jews,  who  were 
imprisoned  at  Damascus.  Cr^mieux  having 
observed  the  word  "  pardon  "  had  been  made 
use  of  in  the  deed,  and  fearing  that,  if  allowed 
to  pass,  the  real  question  of  their  guilt  might 
be  considered  undecided,  persevered  in  his 
efforts  until  he  had  gotten  it  altered.  Soon 
afterwards,  on  the  16th  of  September,  1840, 
the  enlarged  Jews  were  conducted  in  a  pro- 
cession, in  which  even  some  of  the  Moslems 
joined,  to  the  synagogue,  wishing  first  to  give 
thanks  to  the  Almighty  before  they  returned 
home  to  their  families.  Cr^mieux  and  Monte- 
fiore, who  in  all  else  held  entirely  different  views, 
—the  latter  being  a  strict  Talmudist,  and  the 
former  a  liberal  in  religion  and  politics, — 


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614  POSITION   OF  THE   JEWB 

after  their  successful  expedition,  returned  to 
their  respective  countries.  Before  his  depar- 
ture, Cremieux  endeavoured  to  obtain  from 
the  viceroy  of  Egypt  the  complete  abolition 
of  the  use  of  judicial  torture.  He  also  took 
advantage  of  his  sojourn  in  Cairo  and  Alex- 
andria to  effect  some  reformations  in  the  edu- 
cational department  and  in  the  management  of 
the  hospitals  for  the  sick.  Montefiore  passed 
through  Constantinople  on  his  return,  where 
he  procured  from  the  Sultan,  Abdul  Meschid, 
a  firman,  dated  the  12th  Ramazan,  1256,  (or 
6th  of  November,  1840,)  confirming  the  justi- 
fication of  the  Jews  at  Damascus,  and  providing 
for  their  safety  in  all  parts  of  the  Ottoman 
territory,  particularly  at  Rhodes.  Returning 
to  England  via  Rome  and  Paris,  Montefiore 
was,  on  this  occasion,  presented  to  Louis 
Philippe ;  and,  soon  after  he  landed  in  Eng- 
land, he  received  from  Jews  and  Christians  of 
all  classes  demonstrations  of  the  esteem  in 
which  they  held  him.  The  minutest  particu- 
lars relative  to  the  dreadful  imputation  of  the 
celebration  of  the  Jewish  passover  with  human 
blood  were  afterwards  fully  explored  by 
Israelitish  and  Christian  writers,  and  thus 
exposed  to  merited  obloquy.  Nevertheless,  a 
like  accusation  in  the  island  of  Marmora,  in 


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FKOM  1789  TO  1848.  615 

1843,  gave  rise  more  lately  to  renewed  mani- 
festations of  hatred,  ill-treatment,  and  perse- 
cution on  the  part  of  some  misguided  Greeks, 
to  which  a  new  judicial  sentence  finally  put  a 
term  in  the  beginning  of  the  following  year. 

The  land,  towards  which  the  hearts  of  many 
in  Europe  and  America  have  turned  during 
the  last  half-century,  if  not  with  stronger,  at 
least  with  more  enlightened  aspirations,  is 
situated  within  the  territory  which  at  this 
present  time  is  under  the  jurisdiction  of  the 
Turkish  Sovereign.  It  is  Palestine,  the  land 
long  promised  to  the  remote  posterity  of  the 
patriarchs  of  Israel ;  it  is^  the  city  of  the  great 
King  which  sitteth  solitary.  And  now, 
behold,  amongst  those  whose  true  patrimony 
it  is,  and  in  that  city  and  that  land,  singular 
rumours  are  gradually  gaining  ground  in  the 
midst  of  the  marvellous  political  vicissitudes  of 
our  age.  They  tell  of  the  possibility  of 
restoring  Palestine  to  the  seven  millions*  of 

•  Of  these  seven,  or  (according  to  other  less  probably 
correct  calculations)  five,  millions,  rather  more  than 
a  third  are  to  be  found  in  Europe.  We  have  already 
mentioned  the  number  in  Russia,  calculated  by  some 
to  be  still  higher.  In  the  Austrian  states  there  are  said 
to  be  700,000,  in  Russia  200,000,  in  France  84,000, 
in  England  80,000,  in  the  Netherlands  60,000,— of  whom 
30,000  are  settled  at  Amsterdam,~in  Turkey  800,000, 


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616  THE  PROSPECTS   OF    ISRAEL. 

the  posterity  of  Abraham,  who  are  scattered 
throughout  the  world,  either  by  means  of 
purchase,  or  by  negotiation,  when  the  great 
problems  of  European  policy  shall  be  solved. 
They  tell  of  the  pos^bility  of  the  rebuilding  of 
the  temple,  and  restoration  of  Jerusalem  to  the 
Jews. 

Such  rumours  are  in  themselves  vague  and 
ephemeral ;  and,  moreover,  it  is  not  the  first 
time  that  they  have  been  heard  in  the  great 
epochs  in  history,  which  have  been  followed 
by  events  fulfilling  striking  and  ancient  pre* 
dictions.  But  we  have  "  a  more  sure  word  of 
prophecy,"  where,  many  times  repeated,  we 
find  the  reply  to  this  question: — What  destiny 
is  reserved  in  futurity  for  the  scattered  seed  of 
Israel,  preserved  from  destruction  during  so 
many  ages  ?  Will  Israel  be  kept  from  age  to 
age,  to  the  end  of  days,  in  a  more  or  less 
modified,  but  always  isolated  and  grievous 
position  among  the  nations  1  Or  will  it,  as  the 
consequence  of  the  civilization  and  pi*ogressive  . 
revolutions  of  a  small  but  important  section  of 
mankind,  eventually  lose  its  nationality,  and 

in  Arabia  200,000,  in  Africa  600,000,  in  the  United 
States  50,000,  in  Persia,  China,  and  India  600,000, — 
exdusive,  according  to  general  opinion,  of  the  ten 
tribes. 


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THB  PROSPECTS   OF   ISBAEL.  617 

become  absorbed  among  the  various  races  of 
the  five  great  divisions  of  the  earth  1  The 
probability  or  the  improbability  of  these  events 
might  afford  a  curious  theme  for  speculation, 
had  not  the  question  been  already  decided 
with  equal  clearness  and  certainty  for  Jew 
and  Christian, — at  least,  for  such  as  believe  in 
the  prophetic  word  of  the  God  who  cannot  lie. 
We  have  repeated  in  these  pages  more  than 
once,  that  Israel  is  the  only  nation  whose 
history,  not  only  of  the  past  and  present,  but 
also  of  the  future,  has  been  positively  and 
circumstantially  written.  This  history  of  the 
future  will  be  the  final  solution  and  the  crown 
of  all  the  prophecies,  accomplished  and  still  un« 
accomplished,  of  the  Old  and  New  Testament 
From  Moses  to  Malachi  all  the  prophets,  from 
the  beginning  to  the  end,  have  been  unanimous 
in  foretelling  the  great  miseries  and  the 
terrible  judgments  that  the  Israelites  should 
suffer  during  their  long  dispersion,  by  reason 
of  their  manifold  sins ;  and,  above  all,  that  one 
sin, — ^the  rejection  of  God  in  Christ.  Unani- 
mous, also,  were  they  in  terminating  their 
predictions  and  descriptions  with  that  of  the 
conversion  of  the  children  of  Israel  to  the 
Lord  their  God,  their  national  restoration 
under  the  sceptre  of  the  Messiah  their  King, 


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618  THE  PB08PECT8  OP   IS&AXi;. 

tbeir  happiness  and  thdr  splendour  among, 
and  for  the  benefit  of,  all  the  nations  upon  the 
earth,  renewed  and  henceforth  to  be  covered 
with  the  knowledge  of  the  Lord. 

The  same  Moses  who  painted  in  such 
terrible  colours  their  general  dispersion,  their 
boundless  and  unexampled  misery,  foretels,  in 
indissoluble  connexion  with  these  judgments, 
the  mercy  and  final  restoration  in  store  for 
them  in  the  end.  After  having,  as  we  may 
say,  poured  out  the  cup  of  wrath  and  denunci- 
ation on  rebellious  Israel  in  the  prophecies  of 
the  twenty-eighth  and  twenty-ninth  chapters  of 
Deuteronomy,  to  the  complete  fulfilment  of 
which  we  have  drawn  attention  in  the  course 
of  this  history,  he  continues  immediately,  as  if 
in  the  same  breath :  ^^And  it  shall  come  to  pass, 
when  all  these  things  are  come  upon  thee,  the 
blessing  and  tha  curse,  which  I  have  set  before 
thee,  and  thou  ahhlt  call  them  to  mind  among 
all  the  nations,  whither  the  Lord  thy  God 
hath  driven  thee,  and  shalt  return  unto  the 
liOrd  thy  God,  and  shalt  obey  his  voice  accord- 
ing to  all  that  I  command  thee  this  day,  thou 
and  thy  children,  with  all  thine  heart,  and 
with  all  thy  soul ;  that  then  the  Lord  thy  God 
will  turn  thy  captivity,  and  have  compassion 
upon  thee,  and  will  return  and  gather  thee 


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THE  PROSPECTS   OF   ISRAEL.  619 

from  all  the  nations,  whither  the  Lord  thy  God 
hath  scattered  thee.  If  any  of  thine  he  driven  ont 
unto  the  outmost  parts  of  heaven,  from  thence 
will  the  Lord  thy  God  gather  thee,  and  from 
thence  will  he  fetch  thee :  and  the  Lord  thy 
God  will  hring  thee  into  the  land  which  thy 
fathers  possessed,  and  thou  shalt  possess 
it,  and  he  will  do  thee  good,  and  multiply 
thee  ahove  thy  fathers.  And  the  Lord  thy 
God  will  circumcise  thine  heart,  and  the  heart 
of  thy  seed,  to  love  the  Lord  thy  God  with  all 
thine  heart,  and  with  all  thy  soul,  that  thou 
mayest  live.  And  the  Lord  thy  God  will  put 
all  these  curses  upon  thine  enemies,  and  on 
them  that  hate  thee,  which  persecuted  thee. 
And  thou  shalt  return,  and  obey  the  voice  of 
the  Lord,  and  do  all  his  commandments  which 
I  command  thee  this  day.  And  the  Lord  thy 
God  will  make  thee  plenteous  in  every  work 
of  thine  hand,  in  the  fruit  of  thy  body,  and  in 
the  fruit  of  thy  cattle,  and  in  the  fruit  of  thy 
land,  for  good :  for  the  Lord  will  again  rejoice 
over  thee  for  good,  as  he  rejoiced  over  thy 
fathers:  if  thou  shalt  hearken  unto  the  voice  of 
the  Lord  thy  God,  to  keep  his  commandments 
and  his  statutes  which  are  written  in  this  book 
of  the  law,  and  if  thou  turn  unto  the  Ixftd 
thy  God  with  all  thine  heart,  and  with  all  thy 
j50ul."  (Deut.  XXX.  1—10.) 


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620  THE  PBOSPEcrrs  of  is&ael. 

And  in  this  again  the  prophets  hannonisse 
with  Moses.  In  them,  also,  immediately  follow* 
ing  and  inseparably  connected  with  the 
terrible  judgments  whose  divine  trat^  has 
been  attested  by  the  history  of  more  than 
eighteen  centuries,  all  the  oracles  of  the  Old 
Testament  conclude  with  promises  and  descrip- 
tions of  the  felicity  of  the  whole  earth  which 
shall  then  be,  of  the  re-adoption  and  re- 
establishment  of  Israel,  whose  greatness  and 
glory  is  to  exceed  that  of  the  past.  '^Fcht 
the  children  of  Israel,"  says  the  Prophet 
Hosea,  (iii.  4,  5,)  shall  abide  many  days  with- 
out a  king,  and  without  a  prince,  and  without 
a  sacrifice,  and  without  an  image,  and' without 
an  ephod,  and  without  teraphim:  afterwards 
shall  the  children  of  Israel  return,  and  seek 
the  Lord  their  God,  and  David  their  king; 
and  shall  fear  the  Lord  and  his  goodness  in 
the  latter  days."  And  again,  Zechariah  says, 
(xii.  10,)  "  And  I  will  pour  upon  the  house  of 
David,  and  upon  the  inhabitants  of  Jerusalem, 
the  spirit  of  grace  and  of  supplications ;  and 
they  shaU  look  upon  me  whom  they  have 
pierced,  and  they  shall  mourn  for  him,  as  one 
mourneth  for  his  only  son,  and  shall  be  in 
bitterness  for  him,  as  one  that  is  in  bitterness 
for  his  first-bom."  And  again,  chap.  xiii.  1 : 
— ^*  In  that  time  shall  be  a  fountain  opened 


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TBE  PB0SPECT8   OF   ISRABL.  621 

to  the  house  of  David  and  to  the  inhahitants  of 
Jerusalem  for  sin  and  for  uncleanness ; "  in 
that  day  when,  under  the  reign  of  Him  who 
*^  shall  come  forth  a  rod  out  of  the  stem  of 
Jesse,"  ^*  the  wolf  shall  dwell  with  the  lamb, 
and  the  leopard  shall  lie  down  with  the  kid," 
and  ^*  the  earth  shall  be  full  of  the  knowledge 
of  the  Lord,  as  the  waters  cover  the  sea ; "  in 
that  day  it  shall  come  to  pass  that  the  Lord 
*^  shall  set  up  an  ensign  for  the  nations,  and 
shall  assemble  the  outcasts  of   Israel,    and 
gather  together  the  dispersed  of  Judah  from 
the  four  comers  of  the  earth ; "  and  ^'  there 
shall  be  an  highway  for  the  remnant  of  his 
people,  which  shall  be  left  from  Assyria;  like 
as  it  was  to  Israel  in  the  day  that  he  came  up 
out  of  the  land  of  Egypt     And  in  that  day 
thou  shalt  say,  O  Lord,  I  will  praise  thee: 
though  thou  wast  angry  with  me,  thine  anger 
is  turned  away,   and  thou  comfortedst  me. 
Behold,  God  is  my  salvation ;  I  will  trust,  and 
not  be  afraid:  for  the  Lord  Jehovah  is  my 
strength  and  my  song  r  he  also  is  become  my 
salvation."    (Isaiah  xL  16,  andxii.  1,  2.)    AU 
the  twelve  tribes  are  to  have  part  in  this  glory, 
for  '*  Thus  saith  the  Lord  God ;  Behold,  I  will 
take  the  stick  of  Joseph,  which  is  in  the  hand 
of   Ephraim,    and  the   tribes  of  Israel  his 
fellows,  and  will  put  them  with  him,   even 


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622  THE  FBOSFECTS   OF   ISRAEL^ 

with  the  stick  of  Judah,  and  make  them  one 
stick,  and  they  shall  be  one  in  mine  hand. 
And  the  sticks  whereon  thou  writest  shall  be 
in  thine  hand  before  their  eyes.  And  say  nnto 
them,  Thus  saith  the  Lord  God ;  Behold,  I  will 
take  the  children  of  Israel  from  among  the 
heathen,  whither  they  be  gone,  and  will  gather 
them  on  every  side,  and  bring  them  into  their 
own  land :  and  I  will  make  them  one  nation 
in  the  land  upon  the  mountains  of  Israel ;  and 
one  king  shall  be  king  to  them  all :  and  they 
shall  be  no  more  two  nations,  neither  shall 
they  be  divided  into  two  kingdoms  any  more 
at  all:  neither  shall  they  defile  themselves 
any  more  with  their  idols,  nor  with  their 
detestable  things,  nor  with  any  of  their  trans- 
gressions :  but  I  will  save  them  out  of  all  their 
dwelling-places,  wherein  they  have  sinned,  and 
will  cleanse  them :  so  shall  they  be  my  people, 
and  I  will  be  their  God.  And  David  my 
servant  shall  be  king  over  them  ;  and  they  aU 
shall  have  one  shepherd :  they  shall  also  walk 
in  my  judgments,  and  observe  my  statutes,  and 
do  them.  And  they  shall  dwell  in  the  land 
that  I  have  given  unto  Jacob  my  servant, 
wherein  your  fathers  have  dwelt;  and 
they  shall  dwell  therein,  even  they,  and 
their  children,  and  their  children's  chil- 
dren for  ever;  and  my  servant  David  shaU 


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THE  FROSFECTQ   OF   ISRAEL.  623 

be  their  prince  for  ever.  Moreover^  I  will 
make  a  covenant  of  peace  with  them ;  it  shall 
be  an  everlasting  covenant  with  them :  and  I 
will  place  them,  and  multiply  them,  and  will 
set  my  sanctuary  in  the  midst  of  them  for 
evermore.  My  tabernacle  also  shall  be  with 
them :  yea,  I  will  be  their  God,  and  they  shall 
be  my  people.  And  the  heathen  shall  know 
that  I  the  Lord  do  sanctify  Israel,  when 
my  sanctuary  shall  be  in  the  midst  of 
them  for  evermore."  (Ezek.  xxxvii  19 — 28.) 
Thus  shall  be  also  gloriously  accomplished 
another  prophecy: — "He  will  turn  again,  hd 
will  have  compassion  on  us;  he  will  subdue 
our  iniquities,  and  thou  wilt  cast  all  their 
sins  into  the  depths  of  the  sea.  Thou  wilt 
perform  the  truth  to  Jacob,  and  the  mercy 
to  Abraham,  which  thou  hast  sworn  unto  our 
fathers  from  the  days  of  old."  These  are  a 
few  striking  passages  chosen]  from  those  in 
which  the  Old  Testament  abounds,  relating  to 
the  future,  for  which  Israel  still  waits,  and 
which  shall  complete  and  carry  out  the  great 
theme  which  pervades  the  word  of  prophecy 
from  beginning  to  end.  Who  shall  dare  to 
say.  that  these  things  have  been  already 
fulfilled,  not,  it  is  true,  literally  to  the  actual 
descendants  of   Israel,   but  in  a  (so-called) 


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624  THE  PBOSPEGTS   OF   IS&AEL. 

spiritual  sense,  to  the  Christian  Church,  inas- 
much as  she  has  taken  Israel's  place  under  the 
covenant  of  the  New  Testament  t    As  if  the 
Lord  himself  had  not  maintained  and  sealed 
the  application  of  all  his  promises  to  Israel  as 
a  people,  to  the  descendants  of  Ahraham  ac- 
cording to  the  flesh,  eyen  at  the  very  moment 
when  be  was  taken  up  to  heaven  from  the  midst 
of  his  apostles.     To  their  question^  (Acts  i.  6,) 
"  Lord,  wilt  thou  at  this  time  restore  again 
the  kingdom  to  Israel  V    His  reply  is  by  no 
means  negative  as  to  the  fact  of  restoration, 
but  by  the  very  delay  it  indicates  is  rather 
affirmative  for  the  future:  "  It  is  not  for  you 
to  know  the   times  and   seasons  which  the 
Father  has  put  in  his  own  power."  (Ver.  7.) 
Already  he  had  promised  to  his  twelve  apostles 
to  sit  upon  the  twelve  thrones  to  judge  the 
twelve  tribes  of  Israel  in  the  time  of  the  rege- 
neration. (Matt.  xix.  28.)    Who  shall  separate 
what  God  hath  joined  ?     In  Holy  Writ,  in  the 
Old  Testament,  the  same  prophetic  Word  tells 
of  the  miseries  and  of  the  glories  of  the  same 
Israel!     Who  has  given  us  the  right,  while 
contemplating  the  actual,  literal,  and  complete 
fulfilment  of  the  prophetic  judgments  on  the 
Hebrews,  to  alter  suddenly  the  principle  of 
interpretation,  where  the  curse  is  changed  into 


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THE   PROSPECTS    OF    ISRAEL.  625 

a  promise,  humiliation  into  glory,  the  ana- 
thema into  a  blessing?  Who  gives  ns  the 
right  by  an  arbitrary  exegesis  to  apply  the 
promises  to  the  Christian  Church  of  the  Gen- 
tiles, when  the  judgments  evidently  could  not 
have  been  intended  for  them  ? 

And  all  this  becomes  still  more  manifest, 
when  we  consider  this  promise  of  a  national 
conversion  of  the  Jews  and  the  restoration  of 
the  kingdom  of  Israel,  in  connexion  with  the 
promise  of  the  Great  King,  the  Messiah  Himself, 
during  so  many  ages  before,  as  well  as  after 
His  coming  in  the  flesh,  the  object  of  the  ex- 
pectation of  all  who  in  Israel  believed  in  the 
Divine  authority  of  prophecy.  A  King  reign- 
ing in  glory  and  power  over  the  house  of 
Jacob  from  century  to  century !  This  was  the 
promise  transmitted  from  age  to  age,  from 
prophet  to  prophet  in  Israel.  This  was  the 
expectation  of  the  Hebrews,  misconceived  by 
them,  because  they  comprehended  not  the 
sufferings  by  which  this  King  ought  to  enter 
into  His  glory.  Now,  then,  the  King  has  come. 
He  has  obtained  their  deliverance  by  His 
sufferings.  Is  the  glory,  therefore,  less  surely 
promised,  less  certain  to  follow  1  By  faith  in 
a  crucified  King,  the  expectation  of  the  glori- 
fied King  becomes  legitimate  and  acceptable 

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626  THE    PROSPECTS    OF    ISRAEL. 

in  the  sight  of  God.  Jesus  is  this  King,  not 
only  spiritually  reigning  over  hearts  and  minds, 
not  only  in  Heaven,  and  over  His  invisible 
Church,  but  also  some  day  upon  the  earth, 
over  his  own  people  and  country,  and  thence 
over  all  nations,  "  from  sea  even  to  sea, 
and  from  the  river  even  to  the  ends  of  the 
earth."  The  kingdom  that  the  Angel  Gabriel 
announced  to  Mary  for  the  Son  of  the  Most 
High,  who  should  derive  his  human  nature 
from  her,  (Luke  i.  32,  33,)  is  absolutely  the 
same  which  the  Prophet  Isaiah  promises  to 
the  family  of  David,  and  to  the  house  of 
Jacob.  This  was  the  kingdom  anciently  sung 
by  psalmists  and  prophets,  looked  for  by  all 
the  faithful  in  the  days  of  old,  sketched  and 
prefigured  in  the  ordering  of  the  tabemade 
and  the  temple,  in  the  institution  of  priest 
and  king,  —  a  kingdom  descending  from 
heaven  upon  earth,  but  not  less  real,  visible, 
and  palpable,  than  those  four  monarchies  seen 
by  Daniel  in  the  visions  of  the  night,  to 
which  the  Jewish  monarchy,  under  Jesus 
Christ,  bom  and  crucified  King  of  the  Jews, 
comes  to  put  an  end.  The  New  Testament, 
wliich  never  annihilates,  but  always  fulfils 
the  promises  of  the  Old,  has  certainly  not 
changed   the   nature  of    this   last   kingdom- 


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THE    PROSPECTS    OF    ISRAEL.  627 

It  is  still  "  the  kingdom  of  our  Eather  David," 
(Mark  xi.  10.)  It  is  with  respect  to  this 
kingdom  that  the  apostle  of  the  Gentiles,  in 
his  last  Epistle,  and  in  his  last  hour,  exclaimed 
once  more,  "  Remember  that  Jesus  Christ,  of 
the  seed  of  David,  was  raised  from  the  dead, 
according  to  my  Gospel;"  and  when  Saint 
John  contemplates,  in  the  heavens  which  were 
opened  unto  him,  this  King  as  the  Lamb 
thaf  was  slain,  he  announces  him  as  ^^  the 
Lion  of  Judah,  who  has  prevailed."  (Rev. 
V.  6.)  And  Jesus  Himself,  at  the  end  of  this 
same  opened  book  of  prophecy,  calls  Himself 
"  the  root  and  the  offspring  of  David,"  and 
"  the  bright  and  morning  star."  (Rev.  xxii.  16.) 
There  is  then  a  future  for  Israel! — for  the 
long-disgraced  outcasts  an  approaching  glory ! 
— and  this  future,  and  this  glory,  are  inti- 
mately connected  with  the  happiness  and  the 
salvation  of  all  nations :  the  reign  of  the  Mes- 
siah will  not  be  an  exclusive  one,  He  will 
not  revenge  Himself  on  the  Gentiles  as  Gen- 
tiles, as  carnal  Israel,  denying  the  cross  of 
Christ,  has  imagined.  As  little  will  it  be 
a  reign  over  a  purely  typical  Israel.  But 
the  wall  of  separation  will  be  thrown  down, 
and  Israel  and  the  regenerate  nations  will 
triumph    together    over    the    Gentiles  -who 


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628  THE    PROSPECTS    OF    ISRAEL. 

have  forgotten  God,  and  who  oppose  the 
kingdom  of  Christ.  Tsrael's  King  will  be 
King  of  all  nations.  The  receiving  of  Israel 
shall  be  to  all  people  "  life  from  the  dead ;" 
(Rom.  xi*  15 ;)  an^  thus  "  the  Lord  shall 
be. King  over  all  the  *arth:'  for  in  that  day 
there  shall  be  one  Lord,  and  his  name  one." 
(Zech.  xiv.  9.) 


V.-futiT,  Great  Nrw-strert.  Londun.  ^  . 


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